News for The Americas

LIH launches ‘Lufthansa Global Spaces’ workspace booking service

6 May, 2022

Lufthansa Innovation Hub (LIH) launched (04-May-2022) 'Lufthansa Global Spaces' to allow travellers to book hot desks, private offices, or meeting rooms with matching accommodation in Berlin, Munich, Barcelona, Singapore and New York. The selection and booking process is powered by reservation platform Hubli, which offers a global network of 185,000 spaces. Through the 'Global Spaces' website, customers can access details for each location, make reservations and bookings, and handle check in and out processes. Miles & More loyalty programme members can also book workstations through their account to receive extra award miles. LIH managing director Christine Wang outlined work and vacation categories have become "blurred", adding an "enjoyable travel experience" now also relates to "making it possible for customers to work from anywhere". The platform will be available as part of a three month trial, which if successful, will be rolled out globally. [more - original PR - Lufthansa Innovation Hub] [more - original PR - Hubli]

Lufthansa Group and TripActions launch BusinessToGo platform for SMEs

5 May, 2022

Lufthansa Group and TripActions launched (04-May-2022) the 'BusinessToGo' platform, to provide a holistic travel booking and management platform for small to medium sized enterprises (SME). The platform offers corporate clients access to services across the Lufthansa Group and its joint venture partners, and TripActions' hotel, train and rental car content. The platform includes access to all NDC offers, TripActions hotel negotiated rates, and provides reporting on duty of care and carbon emissions, management information, support and centralised billing. Members of the airline group's PartnerPlusBenefit programme will also be able to earn and redeem points directly via the booking platform. The platform will feature and 'essentials' and 'premium'. Through the premium packages, customers will receive enhanced on boarding and support in configuring the platform, and access to other airlines' offers. Through the fee charged per trip in the premium package, customers also receive unlimited use of the servicing support provided by TripActions. The platform is available immediately in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium, and will be rolled out in additional markets. The groups plan to expand the platform during 2022, through enhancements including upgrades, corporate products and additional languages. [more - original PR]

Aerolineas Argentinas and Santander sign loyalty programme points exchange agreement

4 May, 2022

Aerolineas Argentinas and Santander signed (03-May-2022) an agreement for Santander's customers to exchange points from the bank's SuperClub+ loyalty programme for miles on the carrier's Aerolineas Plus scheme. Santander stated that 12% of its customers made at least one purchase in the tourism sector during the first four months of 2022. [more - original PR - Spanish]

Qantas Airways launches Qantas Distribution Platform in UK, US and South Africa

4 May, 2022

Qantas Airways stated (03-May-2022) the Qantas Distribution Platform is now available in the UK, US and South Africa and will be progressively rolled out to other markets in the coming months. The Qantas Distribution Platform is already available in Australia and New Zealand. The content and new features of the Qantas Distributed Platform can be accessed via Qantas' network of technology partners, already delivering Qantas NDC to agents in Australia and New Zealand. [more - original PR]

KMMP joins LATAM's corporate carbon offsetting initiative

3 May, 2022

LATAM Airlines announced (02-May-2022) Komatsu-Mitsui Maquinarias Peru (KMMP) became the first company to join the carrier's 'Vuela Neutral' carbon offsetting scheme. The company will offset its emissions by contributing towards a conservation project in the Peruvian Amazon. As previously reported by CAPA, LATAM launched the scheme in Nov-2021, with access initially limited to corporate customers. [more - original PR - Spanish]

Qantas Group domestic market share increases in Q3FY2022, expected to reach 70%

3 May, 2022

Qantas Group reported (02-May-2022) the following highlights for Q3FY2022:

  • Leisure demand is very strong, with Qantas and Jetstar operating at approximately 110% of pre-COVID-19 capacity over the Easter school holidays;
  • Small business travel is now above pre-coronavirus levels and corporate travel is at 85%;
  • Group overall domestic market share has increased and is expected to be 70% between the two main competitors;
  • Bookings for markets including London, Los Angeles, South Africa and Bali are all above pre-coronavirus levels and Jetstar has resumed more than 60% of its international routes as more leisure destinations in Asia have reopened;
  • Higher domestic freight volumes are expected to be largely maintained given the structural shift in Australia's e-commerce activity. Some softening of international yields is anticipated as more passenger flights return in the months ahead;
  • Qantas Loyalty's underlying EBIT is expected to approximately double from Q3FY2022 to Q4FY2022. [more - original PR]

United Airlines to resume San Francisco-Melbourne service from Jun-2022

3 May, 2022

United Airlines announced (02-May-2022) plans to resume three times weekly San Francisco-Melbourne service from Jun-2022. United Airlines SVP of international network and alliances Patrick Quayle stated the airline sees "a bright future ahead for United, for Melbourne and for US-Australia travel". According to OAG, the service will resume on 06-Jun-2022 and will be operated using Boeing 787-9 equipment. United Airlines last operated the service in Mar-2020, and will be the sole scheduled operator on the route. [more - original PR]

Spirit Airlines to advance with acquisition by Frontier Airlines, rejects JetBlue proposal

3 May, 2022

Spirit Airlines announced (02-May-2022) its board of directors unanimously determined JetBlue Airways' proposal to acquire the airline for USD3.6 billion "does not constitute a 'Superior Proposal'" in comparison to Frontier Airlines' planned merger with Spirit. The board found JetBlue's proposal is "not reasonably capable of being consummated" due to antitrust concerns, adding the proposal involves an "unacceptable level" of closing risk that would impact Spirit stockholders. Spirit Airlines noted that as long as JetBlue's Northeast Alliance with American Airlines remains in existence, the proposed JetBlue/Spirit combination has a "low probability" of receiving antitrust clearance. Spirit's board maintains the pending transaction with Frontier represents "the best opportunity to maximise value". Spirit Airlines will continue to work towards finalising the transaction with Frontier, expected to close in 2H2022, subject to regulatory approval. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]

JetBlue Airways enhances proposal to acquire Spirit Airlines

3 May, 2022

JetBlue Airways enhanced (02-May-2022) its proposal to acquire Spirit Airlines for USD3.6 billion. The updated proposal includes the following changes:

  • Divestiture commitment: If necessary, JetBlue would agree to divest assets of both carriers up to a material adverse effect on Spirit, with a limited carve-out for actions that would negatively impact JetBlue's Northeast Alliance (NEA) with American Airlines;
  • Remedy package to address NEA and regulatory concerns: JetBlue would offer a remedy package including the divestiture of all Spirit assets in New York and Boston to prevent JetBlue from further increasing its presence at airports covered by the NEA. The package would also include gates and assets at other airports including Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport;
  • Reverse break-up fee: In the event that the transaction is not finalised due to antitrust concerns, JetBlue would provide a USD200 million reverse break-up fee to be payable to Spirit Airlines.

JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes stated: "By creating a national competitor to the Big Four airlines, this transaction would deliver meaningful benefits for customers, superior value for shareholders of both airlines, and new opportunities for our combined crewmembers. We have confidence that we can complete this transaction to bring more low fares and great service to more customers. A JetBlue-Spirit combination will deliver enhanced financial strength and accelerate revenue growth and profitability for JetBlue shareholders". [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]

New Zealand Government welcomes visitors from approximately 60 visa waiver countries

2 May, 2022

New Zealand's Tourism Minister Stuart Nash and Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced (02-May-2022) visitors from approximately 60 visa waiver countries may travel to New Zealand from 02-May-2022. Mr Nash stated: "Thousands of passengers are touching down today on around 25 flights at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch international airports as New Zealand opens up further for business". Services arriving on 02-May-2022 are departing from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Australia, Nadi and Rarotonga. Mr Nash added: "We are currently seeing around 33,000 arrivals per week and we know today's changes will further boost arrivals as interest in travel to New Zealand remains high. International flight searches to NZ are running 19 per cent higher than pre-COVID (March-April 2019)". [more - original PR]

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