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News and Views (Airlines) - 30 Nov 2019

by Neil McPherson

30 November 2019

Virgin Atlantic merger with Air France/KLM shelved

The sale of a significant part of the family owned shares to Air France/KLM is not proceeding.

The merger was due to be finalised soon, following the last of the regulatory approvals being granted. It now appears that the pair will continue their current arrangements for the foreseeable future. Virgin Group apparently had a (probably expensive) change of heart, noting that it felt the transatlantic joint venture was sufficient. 

Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia are getting closer and Virgin Atlantic's relationship with Delta appears to be intact. Perhaps we will see the Virgin cousins focus their attention on routes from Australia and New Zealand to the UK via the US and then on to Europe, leaving Qantas to fly there via Asia or the Middle East. Interesting times !

Alaska Airlines miles on sale

Alaska's Mileage Plan is back with another ‘Flash Sale’. Mileage Plan members can purchase Alaska Miles with up to a 40% bonus (almost 30% discount). This is almost as low as I've seen them priced.

The maximum 40% bonus is for purchases of 30,000 to 60,000 miles. For smaller quantities, the bonus/discount isn't as good:

If you have a particular use in mine (and with Mileage Plan there are many opportunities for good points planning) I would snap up at least 20,000 miles before the offer closes on December 23rd. I wouldn't purchase less or rush to buy them speculatively though, as Mileage Plan has regular promotions at good discounts.

Airline Ratings experts name Air New Zealand as Top Carrier

The world’s best airlines for 2020 have been named by an expert panel from, the world’s only airline safety and product rating website.

The airline of the year was awarded to Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand also won Best Premium Economy.

Other category winners included:

Singapore Airlines won the coveted Best First Class award for its impressive Suites product.