Lufthansa & Etihad to merge?, new Centurion lounge, 50k Chase United card, a Cheap way to New Zealand, Cathay cutting further, 3,000 bonus points per Marriott stay & more

Posted on January 17, 2017 by in Travel Industry Flight Status

– after speculation over Lufthansa’s merger with Air Berlin the newest set of speculations is that Etihad and the Lufthansa Group would merge outright

This is a bold speculation but would make a lot of sense for everyone involved. Lufthansa would consolidate the European operations as they have done very successfully with formerly ailing Swissair, Austrian and Brussels Airlines and Etihad would focus on flights going east and connecting all remaining German cities. I’d love to see this happening!

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– Chase now has a 50,000 Bonus Personal Mileage Plus Explore Credit Card (HT Doctor Of Credit)

Just log in into your account and the offer should come up for you. 5/24 applies sadly.

Cathay Pacific is working on a new Business Plan, while their long-haul Business Class is ultra competitive many of the Asian short-haul flights are not

Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific is reportedly preparing for a business overhaul that could include job cuts, cost savings and shifting flights to its short-haul unit Cathay Dragon.

Cathay cancelled its second-half profit forecast in October and said it was reviewing its business. The oneworld carrier saw a sharp profit decline in the first half of 2016 with net profit dropping to HK$353 million ($45 million) for the six months through June 30, compared to a profit of almost HK$2 billion for the same period a year earlier.

Passenger revenue was down 7.8% to HK$33.4 billion for the half year. “Higher competition, weaker currencies in some markets, and soft premium demand on long-haul routes” were cited as the main causes of “sustained pressure on revenue.”

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– Marriott has a new offer page that gives up to 3,000 bonus points per stay for selected hotels only (HT FFB)

– Finnair has struck gold apparently with a promotion in China for the Northern lights and now can’t get enough planes

As such, given strong Asian market demand, the carrier is now considering converting an undisclosed number of the twelve remaining A350-900s it has on order from Airbus, to larger A350-1000s. In addition, two A330-300s that were supposed to be retired this year will be retained given the ongoing shortage of trained-up A350 flight crews. As reported by ch-aviation at several points over the past year, the Finnish airline has had to wet-lease in additional capacity to offset the absence of A330 crews who are currently undergoing A350-900 type-rating.

– Good news – Philadelphia is getting an Amex Centurion Lounge soon

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– Air New Zealand suddenly has opened up Business Class availability on the Los Angeles to Auckland leg for Star Alliance partners

The best way to tale advantage is to use Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles (there was a Citibank transfer promo until recently). Flying Club charges just 115,000 miles RoundTrip in Business Class and there are no fuel surcharges.

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– Ethiopian currently has tickets from Oslo (OSL) to Johannesburg (JNB) for just $705 Round Trip in Business

A prior round of low fares was later cancelled but it may turn out differently this time.