Hopper Insights Cheat Sheet: 3 November 2015

Nick Young - Oct. 19, 2015

Too busy to scour the news today? I've rolled up the top industry headlines into one easy-to-scan cheat sheet, covering airline news, trends, research, and more.

1. Booking Travel on Mobile Goes Mainstream

Criteo's 2015 Flash Travel Report found that the share of mobile bookings has doubledin the past year, now representing 23 percent of total global travel bookings. Bookings now occur 50% of the time in a mobile app.

Takeaway: Mobile bookings are increasing across all verticals, and third-party apps are leading the competition. While flight booking has lagged behind hotel and car rentals, mobile flight-booking has jumped from 14% to 17% in one year. Expect that number to continue to soar.

2. Lufthansa's GDS Surcharge Part of Wider Digital Strategy

Lufthansa's move away from the GDS and toward direct bookings is just part of a new initiative. The German airliner also plans to introduce new "unbundled" ancillary-free fares as well as new websites for all its brands.

Takeaway: The effects of direct bookings aside, this move toward unbundling and simplifying fare classes (Lufthansa had a whopping 26!) as well as a sleek site is a step in a new, modern direction.

3. TripAdvisor, Priceline Announce Instant Booking Partnership

Meta OTA TripAdvisor has announced a new partner, Priceline's Booking.com as well as its Agoda business, in its Instant Booking feature.

Takeaway: While this partnership will include mostly hotel properties, it's yet another sign that travel shoppers are looking for quick, seamless one- or two-tap booking features, no matter the vertical. You'll see more of this strategy, from TripAdvisor and others, as the market grows ever more mobile.

4. Singapore to Resume World's Longest Flight

Singapore Airlines (currently ranked #2 in Skytrax World Airline Awards for world's top airline) has announced it is relaunching its non-stop service from NYC to Singapore.

Takeaway: Singapore is known for comfort and top-notch in-flight amenities. Its ultra-long-range A350 aircraft will continue this tradition as the airline continues to gobble up U.S.-to-Asia market share and highlight its high brand standards.

5. Southwest Launches 'Transfarency' Campaign

Southwest rolled out a new campaign that focuses on its low-fare model, free checked bags, lack of change fees, and transparency regarding additional charges and upsells.

Takeaway: As U.S. carriers work to differentiate themselves from each other while maintaining strong margins, Southwest continues to tout its free services -- as it expands into even more international markets, no less.

6. United Adds New Summer Routes to Europe

In an effort to ramp up European service, United announced three new routes from Newark to Athens, Barcelona, and Portugal beginning next May.

Takeaway: I've already explored what happened when the European low-cost carriers emerged (with the conclusion that the LCCs took some valuable market share from United and Delta). This is UA's way to serve some direct destinations that the LCCs do not. Clever move.


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