Update 6: Added security at Hong Kong airport; allow extra time | Rio’s Santos Dumont Airport closing for repairs Aug. 24-Sep. 21 | Delta warns of check-in delays at Washington National | Milan Linate Airport closing Jul 27-Oct 27; Congestion expected at Malpensa |

Adelman News Line

Travel Briefs

Southwest to launch a business program
Southwest Airlines unveiled plans for a new suite of services aimed at business travelers. The new Southwest Business program will bring added reporting capabilities, an enhanced business partner desk to assist with questions and concerns and more account managers, along with offering its business-friendly no change fees and free second piece of checked luggage.

 

DOT gives tentative ok for a reorganized global joint venture
The U.S. Department of Transportation has given its tentative approval to a plan that will consolidate two existing joint ventures, one featuring Delta, Air France, and KLM, and the other between Delta and Virgin Atlantic. Once final approval is granted, the new joint venture will supersede the old agreements and will grant global antitrust immunity between Delta, Air France, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic Airways in one integrated partnership.  The new agreement will revoke old antitrust immunities with CSA Czech Airlines and Alitalia after a six month period.

 

Midwest Express takes another big step towards its return
The popular former Wisconsin-based airline Midwest Express took another step toward its planned return. Under a new agreement, Portland Maine-based Elite Airways will provide aircraft and flight crews during Midwest’s initial start-up period so that Midwest can focus on building its reservation system, customer service operations, and in-flight amenities. Company officials said Midwest Express will offer nonstop flights from Milwaukee and expect to release specifics in the coming weeks.

 

More flights to India resume
Following the reopening of Pakistan’s airspace, United and Air Canada will resume flights to India that had been temporarily halted. United will reestablish service from Newark to Delhi and Mumbai on September 6. Air Canada will again offer flights between Toronto and Delhi starting October 1 while Air India will reinstate its service between Toronto and Delhi on September 27.

 

Bonus Avios points
U.S.-based American Express card holders who are part of the American Express Membership Rewards program can earn a 40 percent bonus on points transferred to either the British Airways Executive Club or Iberia Plus frequent flyer programs. Avios points are used as currency for British Airways and Iberia along with Aer Lingus, Vueling, and Flybe. Avios are said to be extremely cost effective when redeemed for short-haul flights on both American Airlines and British Airways. The 40 percent bonus offer is valid through October 1, 2019.

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