Today’s podcast discusses Booking.com’s cruise offering, Americans’ international preferences, and Wizz’s fizzle.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, November 10. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
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Booking.com took a step to diversify its offerings on Thursday. The company launched cruises in the U.S. via a partnership with cruise agency World Holdings, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.
Schaal writes Booking.com offering cruises is part of its efforts to be a larger force in the U.S., the world’s largest cruise market. A company spokesperson said Booking.com’s cruises would offer customers access to exclusive offerings and deals on its platform. Schaal adds that Booking.com customers would be able to choose from more than 10,000 sailings on 30-plus lines.
Next, Americans have gone overseas in large numbers this year. So what have been the most popular destinations for U.S. travelers? Flight booking data reveals Cancun and London are Americans’ top international destinations so far this year, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
Roughly 17.5% of all flight bookings from U.S. cities to international destinations from January through August were for Cancun. U.S.-Cancun bookings hit 91% of 2019 levels. Meanwhile, London was the second-most popular destination from U.S. airports with 8.5% of bookings.
Meanwhile, New York City was the top domestic destination for U.S. travelers with roughly 4% of flight bookings.
Finally, Wizz Air has experienced enormous growth coming out of the pandemic. But that growth is set to come to a halt next year, reports Edward Russell, editor of Skift publication Airline Weekly.
The Hungary-based airline has been boosted by an increase in seats in London and Italy as well as the arrival of dozens of new Airbus jets. However, Russell notes that Wizz has been hit hard by engine issues affecting a large number of its jets. Wizz expects that at least 45 of its roughly 200 planes will be grounded in January. The airline has also suspended flights to Israel.
Meanwhile, Wizz recorded a $560 million operating profit and 17.1% operating margin in the six months ending in September.