– if you live in Europe and are somewhat flexible with airports in the region – the deals to Bangkok in Business Class are spectacular!
Qatar Airways is my favorite product and its cheap from Venice and Stockholm and Gotenburg. However KLM has matched that from Amsterdam now.
What is interesting is that for many years airlines miles are pricing Business Class double the price (in miles) to Economy and First Class just about 30% higher than Business Class. While award prices have changed a bit this is mostly still true.
What we are seeing now between Asia and Europe is a new paradigm where the miles pricing now shifts over to revenue tickets. Most Economy tickets to Bangkok can be had for $500-$600 Round Trip from Europe. Business Class is just about double that now. First Class is still outrageously expensive.
Airlines in the Middle East, Europe and Asia have realized that Business Class is now competitive for a larger premium leisure market. This market buys non-refundable, restricted tickets in advance but values a lie-flat seat so much they pay double what they would have paid in Economy.
Is it enough to make money for airlines? Likely not yet on a continued basis but I predict we will see more airlines offering a Business Class product at about 2-2.5x the price of an Economy ticket (with similar restrictions and reduced frills). That’s gonna be interesting!
– Believe it or not – SonAir is starting direct scheduled, charter flights from Luanda, Angola to Houston, TX soon
This flight is only 250 miles shorter than the longest flight in the world right now (Qatar from Doha to Auckland). So either there will be very little cargo or a refuel stop in Western Africa will be required.
– IHG has found a lot of franchisees in the Middle East / Africa and is about to open a host of properties
IHG’s four new hotel signings in the Middle East and Africa are: Crowne Plaza Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, InterContinental Doha Festival City and Staybridge Suites Lusail in Doha, Qatar and the Holiday Inn Mutare in Zimbabwe.
In addition, IHG is also opening six new hotels in the MEA region in 2017. The new hotels include Crowne Plaza Muscat OCEC in Oman, InterContinental Fujairah Resort in the UAE, Holiday Inn Doha – The Business Park in Qatar, Holiday Inn Algiers Cheraga Tower in Algeria, as well as two in Saudi Arabia: Staybridge Suites Jeddah Alandalus Mall, and the Crowne Plaza Riyadh – ITCC.