EasyJet misery a foretaste of European airmageddon

October 6, 2016

Growing overcapacities fuelled by cheap oil, security scares and Brexit jitters are hitting even highly efficient airlines like easyJet hard. The low-cost carrier expects a 28 pct fall in pre-tax profit. Less nimble rivals like Lufthansa and Air France can brace for worse.

Golden Chinese shopping spree will tarnish soon

October 3, 2016

China's "Golden Week" holiday will see mainland tourists splurging in bazaars from Milan to Macau. Retailers should enjoy it while it lasts. Tax cuts will make shopping at home less painful, and younger Chinese prefer experiences to handbags. That will cap future growth.

EasyJet is post-Brexit bet for the brave

July 21, 2016

The UK airline says it doesn’t know what security scares, currency turmoil and Britain’s exit from Europe will do to earnings. The shares have fallen around 30 pct in less than a month. Yet in past downturns easyJet has snatched market share. There’s no reason it can’t again.

Priceline embarrassment goes beyond CEO dalliance

By Rob Cox
April 28, 2016

The $68 bln travel website parted ways with Darren Huston citing “activities inconsistent with the board’s expectations for executive conduct.” Resorting to a former boss as a stopgap isn’t disastrous, but it suggests the board missed a trick by not bedding down succession.

Messy deal calls truce in China online travel war

October 27, 2015

The $3.4 bln tie-up between rival travel sites Ctrip and Qunar heralds a strategic ceasefire in increasingly costly discount battles. Yet the share swap with Qunar parent Baidu falls short of a full merger. Shareholders can only guess the value created from the tangled alliance.

TripAdvisor’s Priceline deal leaves rivals in dust

October 14, 2015

The travel review site had plenty of users but its dependence on advertising made it an internet laggard. Sharing business with the hotel-booking powerhouse gives it fee revenue and a shot to become a one-stop tourist site. Peers are quickly receding in the rearview mirror.

Expedia indicates first-class M&A tickets remain

February 12, 2015

The online travel company’s shares jumped after it agreed to buy smaller rival Orbitz for $1.6 bln. Advertised synergies worth $525 mln today amount to twice the premium being paid. Despite evidence of fewer easy pickings, Expedia shows why the deal boom still has some runway.

Rob Cox: Flurry of ski M&A aims to control weather

By Rob Cox
September 30, 2014

CEOs and corporate financiers revel in the power of the deal. One company, Vail Resorts, is taking the idea to extremes. By acquiring clusters of snowy U.S. retreats in different climates and selling “Epic” season passes, it is trying to smooth bumps caused by Mother Nature.

Priceline’s OpenTable buy is costly appetizer

June 13, 2014

The $64 bln online travel outfit is paying a 46 pct premium – $2.6 bln in cash – to snag the restaurant reservation site. Each helps small businesses and customers find each other. But the tariff only makes sense if Priceline can plug many more of both into OpenTable worldwide.

Chinese sightseers present challenge to the world

By Wei Gu
October 3, 2012

Half the country’s 1.4 billion inhabitants are expected to travel during this week’s national holiday. A new love for tourism provides a much-needed economic boost. But giant traffic jams and a deadly boat crash in Hong Kong underscore the difficulty of coping with the crowds.