Business Travel Bounce, American Air’s Eco-Jet Order and ESPN’s Experiences Entry



Skift Take

Today’s podcast looks at business travel’s health, American Airlines’ plane order, and ESPN’s entry into experiences.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, July 3, and here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today. 

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Episode Notes

A growing number of companies have reduced their travel budgets in recent years, but that hasn’t slowed down business travel’s rebound, writes Reporter Christiana Sciaudone. 

Roughly 60% of travel buyers said their companies have cut their travel budgets in the past few years, according to a recent BCD Travel survey. In addition, 96% said their companies have introduced cost control policies. 

However, Sciaudone notes 2024 is shaping up to be a strong year for business travel. The global business travel market is expected to hit pre-Covid levels this year, according to British data analytics firm GlobalData. Roughly 220 million outbound business trips are projected to take place in 2024, up from 174 million last year. 

Next, American Airlines announced it’s reached a conditional purchase agreement with startup ZeroAvia for 100 hydrogen-electric engines, writes Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi. 

American CEO Robert Isom said the hydrogen-electric engines would help the company be more sustainable. ZeroAvia develops engines for commercial aircraft that can emit close to zero emissions. American joins rivals in making investments in ZeroAvia’s hydrogen-electric engines in recent years. 

However, a major issue with engines is that they can only power smaller aircraft. Maharishi notes most of the investment has been limited to regional jets since technology isn’t yet ready for hydrogen-electric engines to power larger planes. 

Finally, sports network ESPN has entered the experiences sector by launching a tour of Major League Baseball venues, writes Travel Experiences Reporter Jesse Chase-Lubitz. 

ESPN’s first tour — which runs over Labor Day weekend — will include stops at three stadiums and exclusive access to the network’s headquarters. Chase-Lubitz notes ESPN will make a determination about running more tours based on the success of its initial offering. An ESPN spokesperson at the Disney-owned network said it had seen growing demand for experiences tours. 

Producer/Presenter: Jose Marmolejos



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