business trip

CTM Restructures, Debuts New Global Business Units


Australia-based travel management company Corporate Travel Management has unveiled an organizational restructuring following its 2020 acquisitions of U.S-headquartered TMC Travel and Transport and agency automation software specialist Tramada—creating three new global business units centered on multinational corporate clients, its agency network and its supplier partners. 

The new Global Customer Solutions unit will focus on serving the agency’s corporate travel clients. The unit will be led from the U.S. by Kristen Pratt, who joined CTM as part of the T&T deal. Pratt, who joined T&T in early 2019, now will serve as CTM ‘s vice president of global customer solutions.

Meanwhile, CTM’s Global Agency Partnership Program will focus on serving the TMC’s global partner agencies by “leveraging CTM’s scale, global buying power, content aggregation and unique proprietary technology solutions,” as well as ensuring global corporate clients are supported in all markets they travel in, CTM said. The unit will be helmed by Nicole Wilcock, who was vice president of Radius Travel, the agency network acquired by T&T in 2018 and subsequently came under the CTM corporate umbrella. 

The third new business unit, dubbed the Global Supplier Partnerships Program, will be tasked with growing CTM’s strategic supplier partnerships across air, hotel and car suppliers as well as technology and other third-party suppliers. Wilcock will oversee the partnership unit in collaboration with CTM global head of partnerships Scott Ward, along with the company’s regional supplier relations and technology leaders. 

All three new units will report to CTM global chief operating officer Laura Ruffles.

In revamping its corporate structure, CTM considered input from multiple stakeholders, according to Ruffles.

“We’ve listened to feedback from our customers, partner networks, and sales and technology teams to identify the needs, opportunities and challenges facing global travel programs as they get back to business travel,” Ruffles said in a statement. “And we’re confident that we’ve successfully implemented a structure that fills a market gap.”



Source link

Business travel not seeing same rebound as leisure travel, hotel industry leaders say


ORLANDO, Fla. – Hotel industry experts came together with local leaders in Orlando on Tuesday to discuss the need for business travel to return to Central Florida.

While leisure travel has bounced back from the pandemic, large-scale business meetings and events have not seen the same rebound.

According to a study by Visit Orlando, nationwide business travel is down 85% from pre-pandemic levels and is not expected to fully return until 2024.  As of June, group travel in Orlando was 67% lower than levels in 2019.

[TRENDING: Teen killed in crash remembered | Boy Scouts find human remains | Dead turtles, dolphins wash ashore]

Ad

Chip Rogers, who is the president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, attended Tuesday’s meeting at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.

“Leisure travel alone cannot make our industry survive,” Rogers said.  “We have to have this convention center filled. There have to be meetings, there have to be conferences.”

Rogers emphasized that the reduction in business travel can have long-term effects on a tourism-dependent state like Florida.

With the industry not expected to see a full return until 2024, the AHLA is promoting its Safe Stay Guidelines, which are designed to help hotels remain safe as meetings and events resume.

“It’s important we show the world we are a safe community to travel to and having our hotels safe is probably just as important as having our theme parks be safe,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

On the state level, another pressing issue is the labor shortage facing the hotel industry.  The head of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association said the hope is that changes in unemployment will encourage a turnaround in filling open positions in the coming months.

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.



Source link

Kim Komando: Insider tech travel hacks you’ll use every single trip | Business News


On an Android, snap some photos and mark them as favorites in your picture gallery. That will make finding your documents easy, no matter where you are.

Pro tip: I also recommend saving your identifying documents as PDF files and saving a copy to your iOS Books, Android e-book app or even sending to your Kindle. This way, you can access them offline. Send a copy to your travel partner, too, if you feel safe doing so.

2. Get your digital driver’s license

Pictures are great, but what about an actual digital driver’s license? You can use a digital driver’s license for any transaction or situation where ID is required. Think of it as a supplement to your physical ID as various jurisdictions figure out how to implement its use.

A digital license can be updated quickly with new information, such as a change of address. If your phone is lost or stolen, you can remotely wipe the digital ID before getting a new one.

What’s the catch? Right now, digital licenses are only available in some states, including Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming.

Getting a digital version of your license varies from state to state. For example, Arizona launched its version in March in partnership with identity management firm IDEMIA and its “Mobile ID” platform. That company also provides digital driver’s licenses to Oklahoma and Delaware residents. All you have to do is download the state-specific app on iOS or Android to get started.



Source link

GF Business News: Interest rates…travel & quarters


The Federal Reserve signaled that it may act sooner than previously planned to start dialing back the low-interest-rate policies that have helped fuel a swift rebound from the pandemic recession but have also coincided with rising inflation. The policymakers forecast that they would raise their benchmark short-term rate — which affects many consumer and business rates, from mortgages to auto loans — twice by late 2023.

Home sales in Grand Forks/East Grand Forks in May exceeded the year ago mark. A total of 95 properties exchanged hands last month compared to 74 a year ago. The average sales price was just under $239,000. The numbers from the Grand Forks Board of Realtors do not include privately sold homes…townhomes…and condos.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time since April despite widespread evidence that the economy and the job market are rebounding steadily from the pandemic recession. Jobless claims rose 37,000 from the week before. As the job market has strengthened, the number of weekly applications for unemployment aid has fallen for most of the year.

Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked down to 4.0% in May, from 4.1% in April, according to numbers released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The unemployment rate decline was due to people moving from unemployment to employment. For the fifth straight month, Minnesota gained jobs. Minnesota added 12,300 jobs in May.

A new monthly survey of bankers suggests strong growth continues across rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states. The overall Rural Mainstreet economic index slipped in to 70 June from May’s record high of 78.8, but it remained in positive territory above 50. Bankers from North Dakota…South Dakota…and Minnesota were surveyed.

Demand for air travel has been increasing across North Dakota. The state’s eight commercial airports posted a total of 69,285 airline passenger boardings in May. That’s still about 30% below pre-pandemic numbers. The GFK had 5,389 passengers pass through the gates. That compares to 334 one year ago and 8,743 in 2019.

Customers and employees of several Carnival Corp. cruise lines might have had personal information stolen. The Miami-based company says a data breach in March might have exposed things like Social Security numbers and dates of birth for some customers, employees and ship crew members on Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. The company declined to say how many people’s information was exposed.

The Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has reelected Jay Cowles to the role of chair, and elected Rudy Rodriguez to the role of vice chair. Both appointments become effective July 1, 2021 and have a term of one year. Members also named Andriel Dees to serve as the vice chancellor for equity and inclusion. The appointment becomes effective immediately.

The University of North Dakota’s Center for Innovation and the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation opened applications for second cycle of the fourth year of InternGF. The program is designed to increase the number of local internship offerings, aiding employers’ workforce recruitment and retention efforts by introducing UND students to career and entrepreneurial opportunities. InternGF offers up to $3,500 to offset an intern’s salary.

A string of notable American women will appear on the U.S. quarter under a four-year program that begins in 2022. The U.S. Mint says its American Women Quarters Program will celebrate women’s accomplishments and contributions to U.S. history.



Source link

My Dad’s Money Advice Helped Me Build a 6-Figure Business


  • As a kid, my dad told me to think of my ideal lifestyle then work backwards to find a job I want.
  • I thought I had my ideal life with a fast-paced corporate job, but it became toxic.
  • I dreamed up an ideal life — with more time for family — then quit my job and started a business.
  • Read more stories from Personal Finance Insider.

My dad, a fourth-generation Kansas rancher, shared some simple money tips with me as a kid that I’ve relied on again and again over the years. One tip was to figure out what kind of lifestyle you want and work backwards from there to find a job you actually want to to do. 

For several years after graduate school, I worked at a breakneck speed, hoping my corporate job and salary would afford the lifestyle I wanted. The work was really fast-paced and fun for a while. I worked hard, put many aspects of my own life on hold, and really dedicated the majority of my time and energy to growing the business and my role in it. 

Unwittingly, I chose a job I thought would get me the farthest the fastest, thinking I could get to a finish line that would allow me to then live my ideal lifestyle. My ideal lifestyle included resources and time to spend with family and friends, as well as time to travel, read, and write. 

The reality of my lifestyle was far from what I’d hoped. The hours I put in at work didn’t allow for much of a family life, let alone any personal travel or leisure reading. When I traveled for work, I never even got to see the cities outside of hotels, meeting rooms, and taxis. To be honest, it was a big bummer.

When the job situation became toxic and opportunities came crashing down because of some clashing egos, I told myself I’d never again be in a situation where someone else had so much power over my time. I had to do what my dad had always advised — (re)define my lifestyle and work backwards. I did, and it helped me walk away from a toxic job and build a six-figure business. 

First, I decided what’s important 

For me, quality time with my husband and daughter (a toddler at the time) was at the top of the list of what was important. Commuting an hour each way every day for work (plus lots of time tethered to my iPhone when not at the office) was not working for me anymore. 

After much introspection, I realized I wanted to work with small business owners to identify their own ideal lifestyles and help them work backwards, like my dad had taught me. I created a marketing strategy agency that, at the core, helps entrepreneurs define the intent for their life and business, then I help them build infrastructure and attract clients. 

Starting this small business allowed me to merge my desire for meaningful strategy with my expertise in online marketing. More importantly, it now allows me to work from a home office and be home when my kids walk home from school. Since I don’t have a commute anymore, I’ve reclaimed two hours every single day. And I’ve built systems and repeatable processes for my team and our clients so that I’m not tethered to my iPhone all the time. 

I surrounded myself with the right people 

When starting my business, I looked for people who had similar values and wanted to accomplish similar things. When I met like-minded people with skill sets I knew I’d need in the future, I tucked their information away until I could hire them — graphic designers, web developers, content writers, even a bookkeeper. Years later, some of those first hires still work with me on a regular basis. 

I remain flexible

Entrepreneurs in it for the long haul know that flexibility is crucial for sustainability. I prefer a flexible business model that centers around my own skill sets and what I want to spend my time doing — specifically, strategy work. Then, I hire independent contractors to help me implement all the pieces. 

This flexible business model gives me freedom to pursue new projects and interests as opportunities arise. Our core business model remains the same, but I can add and subtract services when it fits what I want to work on. It also allows me to do a hard pivot when necessary, like when the 2020 pandemic hit. 

Defining my ideal lifestyle has evolved over the years and will probably continue to evolve as the world — and my life and priorities in it — changes. But at least I now know how to evolve with it.



Source link

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance: Best travel rewards credit cards | Business News


Points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when you use them to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. And with the Pay Yourself Back feature, you can get a 1.25-cent value when redeeming points for statement credits against purchases in rotating categories.

Dedicated airline card: Delta SkyMiles Golf American Express

Annual fee: $99, waived the first year

Typical annual rebate: 36,169 miles, worth about $362

This card awards two SkyMiles per dollar on Delta purchases and in two other attractive categories: restaurant and supermarket spending. All other purchases earn one SkyMile per dollar.

Cardholders also get one free checked bag for up to nine passengers on a flight reservation, priority boarding, a 20% discount on in-flight purchases (excluding Wi-Fi) and a $100 credit for a Delta flight if you spend at least $10,000 on the card in a year.

Dedicated hotel card: World of Hyatt Visa

Typical annual rebate: 36,907 points, worth about $532 after subtracting the fee

Earn four World of Hyatt Bonus points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels and two points per dollar for purchases with restaurants, airlines, local transit, fitness clubs and gyms.



Source link

business trip

The Path Back to Business Travel


Randstad director of travel transformation Yvonne Moya, ITM
board member and outgoing Willis Towers Watson global travel director Emma
Jones and Takeda global head of travel Michelle De Costa spoke with BTN
editorial director Elizabeth West about how they are handling the return to
travel for their respective companies, their accomplishments during the
Covid-19-induced travel hiatus and how the pandemic has given travel managers
more scope than ever to pursue strategic opportunities within their
organizations. The discussion offers context for travel buyers looking to build
programs for the first time in a post-pandemic environment and for those
looking to use this moment to optimize programs they already have in place.

BTN: Have you traveled for business since the
pandemic hit?

Michelle De Costa, Takeda global head of travel, United States
Michelle De Costa, Takeda global head of travel, United States
Yvonne Moya, Randstad Director of Travel Transformation, The Netherlands
Yvonne Moya, Randstad Director of Travel Transformation, The Netherlands
Emma Jones, ITM board member & Willis Towers Watson outgoing global travel director, United Kingdom
Emma Jones, ITM board member & Willis Towers Watson outgoing global travel director, United Kingdom

Michelle De Costa: I have not, but I’m looking
forward to it. I did take the airline “clean tours” they had been
offering. As a matter of just being in the airport and seeing the work they are
doing, it’s been fantastic. I visited one of our hotel partners … to understand
what they are doing for meetings and events and the return to travel. So I
haven’t physically been out on the road yet, but I’m really excited and I feel
safe being able to do so.

Yvonne Moya: The last time I traveled was to the
Business Travel Show in 2020. That was my last business trip.

BTN: Culturally, how has your company regarded
business travel? What have volumes been like in the past year?

De Costa: Takeda travel is down about 80 percent
overall, using 2019 as a baseline. 2019 was a busy travel year for us. That’s a
baseline, but an elevated baseline, so our return to travel will be an
interesting number for us and one we are trying to figure out.

Emma Jones: If you think back to 2020, for us China
was impacted first, and from Q2 for the rest of world. We’ve had an essential-only
travel policy in place since then. Some markets are opening up now, and we’ve
seen China domestically come back, with Australia, New Zealand and some U.S.
domestic as well. Last year we were down over 75 percent compared to 2019. We were
down further in the first quarter of 2021 because the first quarter last year
was quite buoyant through March. I think we’ll be looking to see travel
progress further in the second half of the year.

BTN: Yvonne, your program is new, and you were new at
Randstad right before the pandemic.

Moya: I’d been helping Randstad before as their
management consultant. … They asked if I wanted to join the company
permanently, and the task was to build something up from scratch. I love that.
There were local programs but nothing consolidated from a global perspective.
The program [annual volume was] in the three-digit-million area. Right now,
there’s not a lot of travel. We’re down about 80 percent. The U.S. is our
biggest travel market right now, but we’re seeing a little bit of activity in
Asia and domestically in the U.K. and Germany.

BTN: As you position your companies to scale up
travel, how have you equipped your travelers? Are policies allowing essential travel
only, or can employees decide to travel?

De Costa: In travel, you get into this role where people
are looking to you for guidance. The idea of the decision tree is one we
borrowed from a counterpart in the pharmaceutical industry, and we worked on
making it much easier for travelers to get through it. At first, there were two
[aspects to the decision]: Is Takeda OK with you traveling? You may think it’s
essential, but does Takeda? Who makes that call? It’s not the travel team, and
it’s probably not the traveler. The other most important piece: Even if everyone
thinks you should travel, can you get in and can you get home? Like a lot of
companies, our security team spent a lot of time trying to get people home when
everything shut down. We want to make sure that before you go, you can get
home. And even when we had everything lined up, it became really difficult,
like a traveler spending six hours in Japan trying to clear customs. [Because
we had some people traveling], we were able to give [prospective travelers]
stories of people who were really sure, and they had a lot of trouble getting
back. The travel team wants to put all the tools in someone’s hands to make an
informed decision. We can’t be the ones to say you can go or you shouldn’t go.

Moya: [We want to] really think about when people
need to travel. We want people to go to client meetings; [you need to travel in
person] if you are signing a multimillion-dollar deal. If you need to see your
team, you just go. We are all grown-ups, and we can make this decision. But we
now need to think about [whether we can] do this as well from home. This is
where our return-to-travel policy goes—it’s around the “should I stay or
should I go” element. We want to empower our people to take these
decisions. Our board [of directors] says that we’ve shown we can do it differently.
We have saved the environment, we have saved money, and we have supported employee
well-being. So they are doing it for the right reasons. I would not have loved
to hear that we cut travel by 90 percent. The board was clear in what they
wanted, and it was fair, and that’s how we built our return to travel policy.

BTN: Did you put a framework around that or just
describe it in guidance?            

Moya: We have put a one-pager together—something like
a decision tree. It’s a little workflow where you say, OK, these are the
buckets of travel that we see. You need to see your team … or is it client-related,
or something you have to do to sign a contract or a legal obligation? We have
worked on those buckets, and we have put the “should I stay or should I go”
element out there. If the answer is yes, then here’s the policy and the tools.
And if not, we have a fantastic suite of videoconferencing tools.

BTN: Emma, the framework at Willis Towers Watson
seems similar to Randstad. You and Yvonne each have a touchpoint with Festive
Road, which created the Purposeful Travel framework.

Jones: [Willis Towers Watson] has a really strong
stakeholder network within our business and socialization to stakeholders has
been a large part of what we do. That has really helped to set the foundations
of discussions on the future of travel. This is not talking about the logistics
and operations of the return to travel, albeit that is critically important. We’ve
used a working group to start looking into the value of face-to-face
interactions and determining groups of interactions that the business feels
absolutely warrants face-to-face and in-person meetings versus those that could
be done virtually using technology.

BTN: Where has that discussion netted out?

Jones: On the back of what Festive Road did, they
have three areas: customer, people and organizational. But we’ve taken it to
four: external engagement, collaboration, learning and development, and culture
and community. Those wouldn’t necessarily be the words I would have utilized,
but those were the words that resonated with the business. We were very
conscious that this had to resonate with the business so they understand the
parameters in which they are looking at the future of travel. … There also will
be things that sit under those four areas. It will be very clear the framework
under which they should operate, and it should be clear when they should be
traveling—with the value of face-to-face interaction—and when they shouldn’t. We
give individuals thought lists and checklists around what they should consider.
We are quite far down that path now. The next steps will really be to pull that
together in a cohesive communication that will go out to the business.

BTN: Michelle, you were looking at potentially
implementing a tool to automate similar decision-making. What is that?

De Costa: We’ve talked to [tClara founder and
consultant] Scott Gillespie, who is doing some really great stuff. We saw a
prototype of his [trip-justification] tool. What I really love about it is that
you answer a series of questions, and there are algorithms behind the scenes
that evaluate and say, “Hey, this sounds like a pretty important trip, and
you should take it.” That gives you something tangible to go to your
manager with. Can you game the system? Probably. If you didn’t want to take a
trip, you could probably slide the levers here or there. But it’s pretty solid.
We heard from travelers who enjoy not being on the road all the time, but we
also heard from travelers [for whom not traveling] has dramatically changed
their ability to do their jobs. So a tool that supports whether you should or
shouldn’t travel, or one that gives you food for thought like sustainability or
wellness, could be helpful. We’ve talked about virtual and whether that belongs
in a policy. Probably not, but in a guideline? Maybe.

BTN: Let’s talk about travelers. Are they ready to go?
Do you see pent-up demand, or a more gradual ramp-up?

Jones: We don’t know what demand will look like and
how quickly it will come back. We don’t think it will be a big bang. We
instigated a welcome-home survey during the pandemic to survey the travelers still
going out there. It wasn’t a big number, but we wanted to have a survey and
highlight three things: First, any points of friction related to suppliers so
we could feed that back to suppliers around the traveler experience before we
saw travel at any real volume. Second, traveler sentiment to gauge comfort on a
scale of one to five, and so far everyone has been a four or five. And third,
how productive the trip was. That goes back to thinking long-term about the purpose
of the trip and has informed those processes.

De Costa: For the most part, people are pretty
excited to get back on the road. It’s been challenging to do the work we
do—meeting with patients and doctors. Face-to-face is such a big part of what
we do. The expectation is that we would ramp up gradually. We’ve been doing
some forecasting with our business units trying to understand [volume
expectations].

BTN: Given all the hits the industry has taken over
the past year, are your travel partners and suppliers ready? How are you
helping to ensure they are?

De Costa: As we ramp up, we want to make sure our
partners ramp up. With BCD Travel, our travel management company, we need to
make sure they have agents back on staff and ready to go. [We need] preferred
hotels to have staff back in place; same with car rental and airlines. It’s a big
production. We’ve gotten good forecasting from our business units. We are
looking to gradually ramp up in the June-July timeframe, based on where people
can travel. We’ll see more domestic than international. And in China it’s been
business as usual for a while.

Jones: We are very conscious and sensitive to the
fact that a lot of our suppliers have gone through a difficult 12 months. A lot
have had to furlough staff and make changes to operations. It’s very important
to us that our suppliers are our partners, and when there are changes in our
business, we share those directly through quarterly business reviews or monthly
updates. They are all reaching out to find out—as I’m sure they are with my
peers—when we expect travel to resume. That’s such a difficult question, and I
know why they are asking it because they want to manage demand and give the
best customer experience they can. I know that’s going to be difficult. So I’ve
socialized in our business that there may be some bumps in the road while [our
partners] try to balance demand and supply. It’s really down to communication
and making sure we are sharing as much information with our suppliers as we can,
and vice versa, to drive the best experience for travelers.

BTN: Yvonne, you have been negotiating and trying to
establish partnerships and a new program during this time. What were those
conversations like and where did you end up?

Moya: It was a very frank and open conversation.
Everybody has the same issue and situation, and nobody has the crystal ball. So
we had to be really open with our partners. We don’t know where it’s going,
when or if we bounce back, and to which level. We want to work with you, we
want to work in partnership. What can we do? We gave 2019 data. With great
respect to all the partners, no one said, “We are quoting you on this. We
want this today.” It was really [about having] the transparency to say,
“We want to do something and create a new program. Are you with us?”
That was a very good starting point.



Source link

Highridge Business Park Site Acquired by Company to Develop Travel Plaza


On Tuesday, Onvo, a hospitality company based in Scranton acquired a
37-acre property in Cass Township, located in the Highridge Business Park, with the intent to develop the site into a travel plaza.

According to a press release from Onvo, the Onvo Travel Plaza will be located at exit 119 off of Interstate 81 and will serve travelers and
truck drivers with premium fuel, food service, and a convenience store.

The site acquired to build the plaza is directly off the northbound exit at the intersection of Highridge Park Road and Keystone Boulevard with traffic entering and exiting from Keystone Boulevard.

Construction on the project is expected to begin Fall 2021 with the company aiming to open the site
for business by Memorial Day 2022. 

The plaza is expected to create up to 70 full time
jobs between the convenience store and Burger King. The property also has potential for
additional retail, food service, and hospitality development that will also be explored by Onvo.

The Highridge Business Park is a 2000-acre development covering Butler, Cass and
Foster Townships. Developed by the Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO),
the park is home to several distribution and manufacturing operations including Wegmans,
Lowes, Wal-Mart, and Tyson Foods among others.

Onvo was founded in 1988 in Tunkhannock, PA, and has grown into a network of over 50 businesses, including 32 travel
plazas and gas stations, 23 quick-service and full-service restaurants, and 5 hotels located throughout
Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania and upstate New York. 

Onvo is behind various developments in
Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania, including a 110 room Residence Inn hotel project set to open this summer
near in Wilkes-Barre, PA as well as travel plazas in Blakeslee, Lake Ariel, Tannersville, Tobyhanna, among other
locations. Onvo employs over 1,000 team members throughout the Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania region
in various roles related to hospitality, customer service, and petroleum distribution.



Source link

Travel Rebound: 2 Million People Go Through US Airports | Business News


By DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines Writer

DALLAS (AP) — The airline industry’s recovery from the pandemic passed a milestone as more than 2 million people streamed through U.S. airport security checkpoints on Friday for the first time since early March 2020.

The Transportation Security Administration announced Saturday that 2.03 million travelers were screened at airport checkpoints on Friday. It was the first time in 15 months that the number of security screenings has surpassed 2 million in a single day.

Airline bookings have been picking up since around February, as more Americans were vaccinated against COVID-19 and – at least within the United States – travel restrictions such as mandatory quarantines began to ease.

The recovery is not complete. Friday’s crowds were only 74% of the volume compared to the same day in 2019. However, the 2.03 million figure was 1.5 million more travelers than the same day last year, according to the TSA.

Political Cartoons

The 2-million mark represents quite a turnaround for the travel industry, which was hammered by the pandemic. There were days in April 2020 when fewer than 100,000 people boarded planes in the U.S., and the CEO of Boeing predicted that at least one major U.S. airline would go bankrupt.

Most of the airlines are still losing money. Southwest eked out a narrow first-quarter profit thanks to its share of $64 billion in federal pandemic relief to the industry, and others are expected to follow suit later this year.

The fear of large-scale furloughs has lifted. United Airlines, which lost $7 billion and threatened to furlough 13,000 workers last fall, told employees this week that their jobs are secure even when the federal money runs out in October.

That’s because airlines like United are upbeat about salvaging the peak summer vacation season. International travel and business trips are still deeply depressed, but domestic leisure travel is roughly back to pre-pandemic levels, airline officials say.

The airlines are recalling employees from voluntary leave and planning to hire small numbers of pilots and other workers later this year.

Hotel operators say they too have seen bookings improve as vaccination rates rise.

Mike Gathright, a senior vice president at Hilton, said the company’s hotels were 93% full over the Memorial Day weekend. He said the company is “very optimistic” about leisure travel over the summer and a pickup in business travel this fall.

“The vaccine distribution, the relaxed travel restrictions, consumer confidence — all of that is driving occupancy and improvement in our business,” Gathright said.

Prior to the pandemic, TSA screened on average 2 million to 2.5 million travelers per day. The lowest screening volume during the pandemic was on April 13, 2020, when just 87,534 individuals were screened at airport security checkpoints.

By the middle of last month, TSA’s average daily volume for screenings was approximately 65% of pre-pandemic levels.

As the summer travel season approaches, TSA is advising passengers to arrive at the airport with sufficient time to accommodate increased screening time as traveler volumes are expected to approach and in some cases exceed pre-pandemic levels at certain airports.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Source link