Today’s podcast looks at layoffs by Navan, the banning of airlines ads, and a mental health crisis for airline pilots.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, December 7. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
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Navan, a travel and expense management startup, has laid off 5% of employees at the company, accounting for about 145 people, writes travel tech reporter Justin Dawes.
Kelly Soderlund, a spokesperson for Navan, said in an email that the layoff affected teams across departments. She said in a statement that Navan is “refocusing efforts to move faster toward profitability” as its enters the next phase of its company.
Navan has raised well over $1 billion in venture capital, most recently $154 million in October 2022.
Next, a summit about mental health highlighted the risk for pilots, writes airline reporter Edward Russell.
The issue received new attention in October after an Alaska Airlines pilot Joseph Emerson nearly brought down a plane while suffering a mental health crisis. Emerson said that he had experienced depression-like symptoms since the death of a friend in 2018 — some five years before the incident.
More than 55% of pilots have expressed reluctance to report mental health issues due to fear of career reprisals, according to researcher William Hoffman
Jennifer Homendy, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, is firm that something needs to be done. She stated at the summit in Washington, D.C.: “There’s a culture right now, which is not surprising to me, that you either lie or you seek help. We can’t have that. That’s not safety.”
Finally, advertisements on Google by Air France, Lufthansa, and Etihad were banned for giving what the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority said was “a misleading impression” of their environmental impact, writes airline reporter Meghna Maharishi.
The ad by Etihad, for example, implied that customers can travel with “total peace of mind” regarding its environmental advocacy. The ASA said it did not have adequate evidence that that was true.
Etihad and Lufthansa took down the ads following the ruling. The ASA said Air France “did not provide a substantive response” to its ruling.