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On the Go – July 15, 2021

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July 15, 2021

Industry News – Click on the title to read the full article. Many of the sources below require a free registration to gain access to the article. If a paid registration is required, the individual source will be noted.


Airlines Continue to Urge Safe Reopening of International Travel (Source: Bloomberg)
US airlines continue to advocate for the reopening of borders for travelers who have been vaccinated, or provided proof of a negative Covid-19 test, and have provided extensive data and research to the Administration regarding the science and safety of resuming international travel. “US travelers who have been vaccinated can go to Europe, and they are. It’s unfortunate we can’t bring Europeans back into our country,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. EU officials are now echoing these frustrations, citing significant challenges in maintaining US investments as business travel remains suspended.

Delta’s Minneapolis Chief Started As An Engineer (Source: The Business Journals)
Mary Loeffelholz, who now runs Delta Air Lines’ hub at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, has a background as a chemical engineer and started her aviation career as an environmental engineer for Northwest Airlines, which later merged with Delta. “Minneapolis has a reputation for outstanding performance. We’ve got an incredibly strong business market here,” she said.

United’s Ditching 2 Major COVID-19 Modifications (Source: The Points Guy)
Traveling with United now feels a little bit more like “normal.” Effective immediately, United no longer requires passengers to deplane in groups of five rows at a time. Over the weekend, the Chicago-based carrier dropped its last major modification to the passenger experience that it had originally implemented as an anti-coronavirus measure during the height of the pandemic.

Delta CEO Discusses Continued Recovery, Industry Resilience (Source: CNBC)
“We are into a full recovery of our business led by the US consumer. […] US consumer travel is at — if not even beyond — the levels we saw in 2019,” Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian stated on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” Although business and international travel remain slow to improve and will be key to a full recovery, “we are going to be profitable and free cash flow positive … just a year removed from the worst crisis our industry has ever seen. I think it’s a remarkable testament to the resilience of our business and our people,” Bastian said.


This is What Hotel Guests Want Post-Pandemic (Source: Travel Market Report)
As the world returns to travel, hotel guests are revealing what they want when they return to hotels post-pandemic. According to the J.D. Power 2021 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, guests have made it clear they want breakfast and other hotel amenities. 

Hilton Converts First Signia Property (Source: Business Travel News)
Worldwide has renovated and converted the former Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek to become the first property in the upper-upscale meetings-focused Signia by Hilton brand, the company announced. Hilton announced the new brand in February 2019. Now dubbed Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, the property recently underwent room renovations as well as a refresh of its two ballrooms and pre-function space. There also are plans for a new meetings and event space expansion, with 94,000 square feet of space that will include a 35,000-sq.-ft. ballroom built over water with a pre-function space and screened veranda. Hilton expects the expansion project to be completed in 2023.

Ground Transportation

Amtrak Plans to Replace Dozens of Aging Trains, The Cost: $7.3B (Source: Travel Weekly)
Amtrak plans to spend $7.3 billion to replace 83 passenger trains, some nearly a half-century old, though much of the funding must still be approved by Congress. Amtrak said Wednesday that under the contract with German manufacturer Siemens AG, some of the trains will be hybrids, able to operate on diesel fuel and electricity where wires are available. The new trains will replace Amfleet, Metroliner and state-owned equipment starting in 2024.


Microgrid Powers Pittsburgh Airport (Source: Solar Power World)
A dedicated grid composed of 9,360 solar panels and five natural gas-fueled generators is powering Pittsburgh International Airport, marking a global first. The 20-megawatt-capacity microgrid works autonomously but remains connected to the larger area power network. At peak, the airport now requires 14 megawatts.

Austin, Texas Airport Unveils Improvement Plan (Source: KVUE-TV)
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has unveiled expansion plans that the Texas airport calls the “most extensive improvement program in its history.” The plan, which will be funded with airport cash reserves, current and future airport revenues, bond proceeds and FAA grants, includes a new concourse with 10 gates and two new taxiways, as well as improvements to an existing terminal and a new utility plant.

Leisure Travel

NYC’s $370M Margaritaville Resort Makes Debut (Source: TravelPulse)
The $370 million Margaritaville Resort Times Square hotel has opened in Manhattan’s entertainment district, complete with the city’s only year-round heated outdoor pool and a 32-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty holding a margarita. The property features 234 guestrooms, five restaurants and bars and a retail store.

12 Things To Do In Las Vegas When You Don’t Want To Gamble (Source: The Points Guy)
I’m dazzled by Las Vegas. I love its lopsided sense of scale and its commitment to nonstop indulgence. Like all good things, though, I can usually only manage Vegas in small doses. After a day or two losing dollars on roulette and drinking too many watered-down cocktails, I find myself looking for something … else. A way to recharge, or just find some respite from the crowds and the neon.

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Author SteveN

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