Meeting Planners Travel Report: United CEO Says Chaos Will Continue

Security and passport control at Antalya International Airport in Turkey

United Airlines CEO Says Airline Chaos Will Continue

In a Q4 earnings call, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said that operational collapses like Southwest Airlines’ recent fall from grace will continue given the state of the industry after Covid.

“We believe that the industry’s capacity aspirations for 2023 and beyond are simply unachievable. The system can’t handle the volume today, much less anticipated growth,” he said on the call.

United is downscaling to 16.7% fewer flights than in 2019 and 0.9% fewer seats.

Kirby also said that outdated FAA air traffic control technology (the supposed recent cause of a massive systemwide shutdown) is slowing the airspace system in the U.S., which will force United to increase scheduled flight times.

“Our industry has been changed profoundly by the pandemic, and you can’t run the airline like it is 2019 or it will fail,” Kirby concluded.

We’ll Always Have Paris…Until Beijing Takes Over

A new study from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) shows Paris is the world’s most powerful “city destination” with almost $36 billion USD in 2022 in terms of direct GDP contribution to the city, but it also reveals that Paris will cede its place to up-and-coming Beijing by 2032.

The report, sponsored by Visa and researched in partnership with Oxford Economics, analyzed key indicators such as Travel & Tourism’s contribution to GDP, employment and traveler spend. The study pointed to Las Vegas as the only city in the top 10 list which holds its place, staying lodged at fifth largest. Last year, the Las Vegas travel and tourism sector was worth $23 billion and is predicted to grow to over $36 billion by 2032.

▪ The top ten cities with biggest international travelers spend in 2022 were:

  1. Dubai – $29.42BN
  2. Doha – $16.79BN
  3. London – $16.07BN
  4. Macau – $15.58BN
  5. Amsterdam – $13.59BN
  6. Istanbul – $13.13BN
  7. Barcelona – $12.73BN
  8. New York – $12.45BN
  9. Singapore – $10.97BN
  10. Paris – $9.76BN

▪ In 2032, WTTC predicts the top ten cities with biggest international traveler spend will change to be:

  1. Hong Kong – $52.06BN (up 38 places from 2022)
  2. Macau – $43.14BN (up two places from 2022)
  3. Dubai – $42.98BN (down two places from 2022)
  4. Singapore – $37.43BN (up five places from 2022)
  5. Bangkok – $33.45BN (up seven places from 2022)
  6. Doha – $31.63BN (down four places from 2022)
  7. Tokyo $25.44BN (up 30 places from 2022)
  8. New York $21.73BN (no change from 2022)
  9. Amsterdam $21.53BN (down four places from 2022)
  10. Shanghai – $21.3BN (up 11 places from 2022)

Over the next decade, says the study, travel and tourism is on track to become a key driver of economic growth once again, with faster GDP growth than other sectors, generating 126 million new jobs around the world.