All posts by Martin Kelly

Qantas Slashes International Capacity by 23% to mid-September

Qantas reducing capacity, withdrawing eight A380s from service.

Qantas Group has taken decisive action to reduce costs because of slumping passenger demand caused by the coronavirus. In a major strategic shift, Qantas today announced it is withdrawing eight of its largest aircraft, the Airbus A380, from service and deploying smaller aircraft on less frequent schedules to maintain connectivity through the crisis.

“The biggest reductions remain focussed on Asia (now down 31 per cent compared with the same period last year),” the airline said. “Capacity reductions to the United States (down 19 per cent), the UK (down 17 per cent) and Trans-Tasman (down 10 per cent) will also be made in line with forward booking trends.”

It will cut domestic capacity by 5 per cent while senior staff have taken pay cuts of 30 per cent for the rest of this financial year.  CEO Alan Joyce will take no wage for this period. See release.

OTAs Bend on Confidentiality and Agree to Share Short-term Booking data with European Union

Airbnb, Booking, Expedia Group and TripAdvisor have agreed to share their short-term accommodation booking and guest data with the European Union (EU).

Commissioner Thierry Breton said the data will help with “evidence-based policy” planning and transparency for the short-term leasing sector, critics including local government claim is destroying the social fabric of key tourism destinations.

The EU has been heavily lobbied to provide leadership on short-term traveller rentals and this agreement will go some way to appeasing the call for transparency  from major European cities such as  Amsterdam, Barcelona, ​​Berlin, Bordeaux, Brussels, Krakow, Munich, Paris, Valencia and Vienna. More 

Google Takes With One Hand and Then The Other as TripAdvisor & Trivago Play the Blame Game While Revenues Continue to Fall

Google’s “have your cake and eat it too” approach to business – selling ads to companies while operating competing products – has been blamed by two leading online travel companies, Trivago and TripAdvisor, for significant revenue drops.

Both companies said current industry dynamics, including increased competition from new player and Airbnb, have flowed through to 2020, which has got off to a sluggish start.

TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer said its hotel auction results had been hardest hit as Google diverts high quality hotel traffic to its own sales channels with weakness flowing through to 2020. More 

Epic Pass = Epic Lift Queues at Vail

Here’s the lift queue at Vail last week after a powder dump.  At US$209 for a day ticket, not exactly value for money. But odds are that many of these punters would have bought the annual Epic Pass, which covers all 37 mountains and urban ski parks owned by parent company Vail Resorts Inc. The Epic Pass has been revolutionary but lines like this beg the question: is it being properly managed?

SA Leads Way With Recovery Marketing, NSW Still in Meetings

Kudos to South Australia for its bush fire recovery and clarification campaign #BookThemOut, which kicked off more than two weeks ago. Still waiting for my home state of NSW – which has actually suffered more damage – to do something. What’s happening Destination NSW? Update: on Feb 8 Destination NSW launched a social media campaign, #LoveNSW, asking people to holiday in NSW and “post imagery of the experience on social media framed by hands in the shape of a love heart.”

Campaign to improve travel for pax with intellectual challenges

Travelport is launching a campaign to raise awareness among travel agents about how they can improve airline travel for passengers with intellectual challenges. The first goal is to promote the DPNA Special Service Request (SSR) code, which alerts airlines that a passenger has intellectual or developmental disability and needs assistance. This six-month long campaign, allied to the Special Olympics World Summer Games 2019 which begin next week in the UAE, will reach more than 100,000 travel agents in over 30 countries. Pictured is Team Jordan.