When walking alone in a jungle of true darkness, there are three things that can show you the way: instinct to survive, the knowledge of navigation, creative imagination. Without them, you are lost.― Toba Beta
There are two sets of rules for flying an aircraft: Visual Flight Rules and Instrument Flight Rules. Depending on weather conditions, a pilot may opt one or the other. Navigating a travel company under the current unprecedented conditions is requiring a delicate mix of art, science, courage and imagination.
1. Travel Tech Essentialist survey results
Thanks a lot for completing this survey. The results shed some light on those competitors expected to come out relatively stronger or weaker over various travel categories (OTAs, hotels,alternative accommodations, airlines, startups, etc…) as well as potential new opportunities for travel companies after CV19. Travel Tech Essentialist survey results — Travel industry outlook after CV19
Which will be the relative winners and losers emerging after CV19?
2. Advance purchase directory for B2B and B2C travel companies?
Gift cards and advance purchase programs can give businesses a cash infusion now to make it through hard times. We are seeing this with restaurants. A few weeks ago Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger launched SaveOurFaves, a directory of San Francisco Bay Area restaurants selling gift certificates to offset lost income during the lockdown. Similar initiatives for other locations have followed. If your B2B or B2C travel company is planning on offering an advance purchase program, can you please send me an email (by replying to this newsletter) with the details? Depending on the level of interest and input, maybe we can launch a directory and broadcast it to a larger audience of potential customers and partners.
3. Eight ways travel will be different a few months from now
Flight Plan 2020 was written by IdeaWorksCompany president Jay Sorensen. The report focuses on post-virus consumer behavior and how airlines can best serve a travel economy in recovery. It highlights 8 important changes such as:
Capacity and inventory will decrease through business failures
Consumers will expect low prices, and low prices will stimulate traffic
Government investment will have strings attached
Change fees will be even more unpopular
4. Emirates becomes first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers
Showing the way in what may become the new normal in air travel, the airline conducted rapid CV19 testing of all passengers in a flight from Dubai to Tunisia this week. Results are given within 10 minutes of the test. Emirates is working on plans to scale up on-site testing capabilities and provide immediate confirmation to more flights, in particular to countries that require CV19 test certificates. Read more.
Emirates passengers given a quick blood test by the Dubai Health Authority in the check-in area at Dubai International Airport.
5. Delta Airlines wants to set a new standard of airline cleanliness with its Delta Clean program
Delta unveiled the details and timeline of Delta Clean in an attempt to make travellers feel confident and safe. customers feel . “We are extending our overall safety focus to include our new standard of clean“ - Delta Chief Customer Experience Officer. Read more.
By early May, all aircraft will be fogged before every flight in Delta’s network. The disinfectant used in fogging is immediately safe to breathe and is similar to what hospitals and restaurants use to sanitize.
6. Some alternative accommodation providers pivot to long-term stays to adapt to current demand
Consumers needing homes to live and work in safely during the current crisis are searching for and booking stays for longer durations. Some short-term stay providers are pivoting to try to capture some of this demand; monthly rental marketplaces like Anyplace are in a good position to capitalize on this; they’ve seen inquiries from potential property partners increase more than 50% as a result of CV19. Read more - PhocusWire.
7. Global Travel e-Conference on April 22-23
Impressive lineup of speakers and a packed agenda addressing a variety of topics such as global air travel, self-service during mass cancellations, how to work with VCs in a downturn, building a crisis resilient brand, innovation in travel, the state of travel startups and hot segments to watch, selling into the US corporate travel market, distribution as a service, etc… Check out the speakers, topics, agenda and sign-up to attend (free). More info.
8. Crowdfunded guidance for startups and entrepreneurs
JetBlue Technology Ventures has assembled a crowdsourced list of resources, guidance, and information for startups and entrepreneurs to reference as they navigate COVID-19. It includes sections such as loans & financial relief guidance, layoff and talent resources, VC insights and startup insights.
9. OTAs move to secure cash to weather the storm
Airbnb secured a $1 billion five-year loan from a group including Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners, a week after raising $1 billion in debt and equity from both investors, including warrants convertible into shares with a valuation of $18 billion (Airbnb’s last round in 2017 valued it at $31 billion). The loan comes with a 11%-12% return. Booking Holdings, meanwhile, went back into the debt markets to raise a combined $4 billion due between 2025 and 2030 at an interest rate of around 4% (Reuters). An FT story estimated that Booking has around $8.5bn in cash — about four times the amount of Expedia and Airbnb. The vast majority of Booking customers pay when they reach their hotel (unlike Airbnb and Expedia). This means it has not suffered the same cash outflow as consumers claim refunds.
10. Relevant startups for the new normal of travel
Face++ is a Chinese company which empowers infrared cameras with computer vision technologies for rapid deployment at airports and subway stations in China to detect and track individuals with fever. This allows staff to complete all body temperature screenings without close physical contact, thus reducing the chances of contagion.
Consumers will demand more control on travel insurance, as well as better customer service in times of crisis. Setoo’s insurance‐as‐a‐service platform provides insurance and protection products that are personalized, fully automated, easy to understand, with claim‐free compensation in response to pre‐defined triggers.
Denver-based GeoSure has created a highly scaled, realtime, hyper-local safety information covering tens of thousands of neighborhoods across every major city. GeoSafeScores provides risk awareness information covering six critical safety categories, including Disease & Medical.
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