Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks closer at trends revealed during earnings season, the new FAA nominee, and Hilton’s Tesla chargers.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, September 8. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
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Travel companies have just finished reporting their second quarter results. So what did we learn about the state of the industry? Senior Research Analyst Seth Borko outlines four major trends Skift Research discovered after studying more than 200 publicly traded companies.
Borko writes that second quarter revenue growth was still far higher than other sectors – but that it’s beginning to slow down to more normal rates. At the same time, he notes that profits for the travel industry hit a post-Covid peak. In addition, among five travel sectors Skift Research studied, travel tech posted the fastest revenue growth while accommodations had the highest profit margins.
Next, Hilton unveiled plans on Thursday to install Tesla electric vehicle chargers at 2,000 of its North American hotels, reported Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
O’Neill notes that Hilton is installing up to 20,000 Tesla Universal Wall Connectors. They’re designed to charge all North American electric vehicles, not just Tesla-branded ones. Installation starts next year and once the process is complete, Hilton will own more electric vehicle chargers than any other U.S.-based hotel group.
Hilton has had electric vehicle chargers at its hotels since 2015. O’Neill writes the company’s website has seen a significant rise in people seeking out the chargers in its search tool this year.
Finally, President Joe Biden nominated airline industry veteran Michael Whitaker to lead the Federal Aviation Administration, reports Edward Russell, editor of Skift publication Airline Weekly.
Russell writes Whitaker checks many of the boxes the Biden administration was looking for. Whitaker had previously served as a senior executive at United Airlines in addition to working as a deputy administrator at the FAA. Russell notes Whitaker, if confirmed, would face several major challenges running the FAA. The agency’s five-year funding bill is currently stalled in Congress and it also faces an air traffic controller shortage that won’t be solved soon, among other hurdles.
The nomination comes more than five months following the withdrawal of President Biden’s first nominee, Denver Airport CEO Phil Washington, amid questions over his aviation experience.