Climate Change Comes for the Great Barrier Reef

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Skift Take

Today’s podcast looks at the dying Great Barrier Reef, a new exec at Airbus, and better pay at Delta.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, April 23. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

The Great Barrier Reef is currently experiencing its worst-ever mass bleaching event, during which warmer-than-usual water causes corals to expel their algae and turn white. Tour operators have been doing their part in helping preserve the popular tourist landmark, writes Travel Experiences Reporter Jesse Chase-Lubitz. 

Chase-Lubitz cites Reef Magic as one tour operator that offers travelers the opportunity to help revive corals. At least six tour operators are a part of the Coral Nurture Initiative, a partnership between researchers and tour operators to conduct research and restore reefs. Corals can survive a bleaching event, but it puts them under stress and makes them more susceptible to dying. 

In addition, 26 tour operators have provided almost 3,500 reef health surveys to the government in 2023 and 2024.  

Next, former JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes has announced he will join Airbus to be the planemaker’s lead for North America, writes Airlines Editor Gordon Smith and Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi.  

Hayes, who served as JetBlue’s CEO for nine years, will lead Airbus’ commercial aircraft business in North America. He will also be responsible for coordinating Airbus’ helicopters, space and defense businesses in North America. Hayes will officially take over for Jeff Knittel at Airbus on June 3.

Hayes announced this January he would step down as JetBlue CEO. 

Finally, Delta Air Lines is planning to give staff 5% raises and increase the minimum starting wage for frontline employees to $19 an hour, writes Airlines Reporter Maharishi. 

Maharishi reports the $19 starting wages, which go into effect on June 1, will apply to flight attendants, mechanics and ground handlers, among other employees. Delta CEO Ed Bastian also said the company, which is anticipating a busy summer season, would create a 5% merit pool to be allocated to employees based on individual performance and market standing. 

However, the wage increases don’t apply to pilots. Delta’s pilots, who are already unionized, recently approved a contract that gave them 34% raises over the course of four years. 

Producer/Presenter: Jose Marmolejos

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