Talent crisis and flights canceled. Chaos in travel?

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This week we jump directly to our weekly curation of the top news on travel innovation, trends and startups. Here we go:

  • Sit back and *don’t* enjoy the flightCall it the surprise of the century, but after getting everyone’s attention earlier this year, with promises of a new ultra low cost transatlantic route, Norse Atlantic has just started cancelling its winter flights. Norse launched in the summer, largely replicating Norwegian’s business model. But now, they’ve had a hard lesson to learn – long haul leisure is largely seasonal and maintaining demand through the winter is tough going. Now the question remains: what’s next for the company?
  • Better balancing of flight demand. Taking off with $6 million, Atlanta-based Volantio is aiming to help airlines optimize their revenue and operations. The startup uses machine learning to track flight demand and encourage travellers to opt for flights that have more space available as opposed to those that are close to selling out. It gives travellers a better flight experience and also helps boost revenues – a win-win for all involved.
  • Workstream raises $60 million to lend a helping hand to the hospitality labour crisis. As hospitality businesses across the world struggle with talent shortages, hiring platform Workstream is expanding into the restaurant, hotel and retail business. The company, which aims to serve the deskless workforce, has just raised an additional $60 million. The platform automated the recruitment and onboarding process, cutting hiring time down and helping businesses better match expectations of prospective employees.
  • Booking.com joins forces to Klook to let travelers book more. As the attractions and travel experiences market becomes even more digitised and competitive, market giant Booking.com has made another strategic partnership – joining forces with Klook in Asia Pacific. As a result, the company is giving travellers access to a wider diversity of tours, attractions and experiences around the world, staying away from popular ‘must-do’ activities to niche and unusual experiences in over 1,100 destinations.
  • Hospitality sector is watching the food industryWe love to keep an eye on the latest trends, and it looks like hospitality actors should really consider food – what they’re offering, where it’s coming from, and that overarching theme of sustainability. Hospitality and food are intrinsically linked, and, due to the climate crisis, increasing global food supply problems, food insecurity and the rise of alt-protein, hospitality actors need to be paying attention.
  • Rumours running wild? Travel unicorn TripActions has found itself front and centre in business gossip last week, with rumours abound that it is heading towards an IPO. The company has remained secretive on the topic, describing current negotiations as simply another funding round, and not an IPO plan with Goldman Sachs. It seems the less we know, the more curiosity grows.
  • Partnering up to power travel growthAmadeus is joining forces with Colombian super app Rappi to grow a shared vision of frictionless travel for a new era of consumers. With its search and automation tools, Amadeus will power Rappi’s Travel service and scale the product further.
  • Towards a future of inclusive travelWe love travel and we wholeheartedly believe it should be enjoyed by and accessible to everyone – regardless of their background, orientation or beliefs. That’s why we are super excited to see that payments platform WeTravel and Queer Destinations have launched a course focused on building an inclusive travel business, addressing LGBTQ+ concerns.