Air Belgium launches cheap flights to China, BA First Class is back!, Hi Fly gets an A380, Avianca to add Munich, Etihad cuts Saigon, Delta discounts Mexico awards, Southwest wants more points

– charter and freight airline Air Belgium is re-launching as discount airline from Brussels to Hong Kong and mainland China

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The airline’s new investors are planning to capitalize on a low-cost operation from China to Europe that serves primarily Chinese outbound travelers incl. tour operators.

This is an interesting play and there is clearly a market for low cost operations for these routes.

– did you all read about this British Airways disappearing First Class availability? Well apparently it was a bug!

Hi Fly – the maverick charter operator of old planes nobody wants received it’s first second hand A380

You have to hand it to the fledgling operation – they always have a surprise up in their fleet.

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– sadly Etihad is closing down yet another route – this time Ho Chi Minh will be stopped after August 30th

– Avianca is planning a new long-haul service on their excellent 787 into Lufthansa’s Munich hub (a fellow Star Alliance Partner)

– Southwest is increasing the points needed for redemptions slightly (based on cash value anyways)

I wouldn’t worry much about such changes.

– Delta is running an award flash sale on many routes on their own metal to many Mexican cities

Fares to Mexico have been under pressure from all the new flying from Alaska, Volaris and Interjet and the market looks more like a domestic US market now.