* Hyatt Hotels has agreed to buy the 143-hotel AmeriSuites chain from the Blackstone Group in a move to boost its franchise in hotels catering to executives. Hyatt didn’t disclose the terms of the deal, but one source close to the situation said Hyatt paid about $600 million for AmeriSuites. Hyatt said it plans to integrate AmeriSuites into its Gold Passport program in 2005.
* SkyMiles Dining and Hotel Rewards by iDine has been renamed Everyday Miles by Rewards Network.
* Miles & More has added three new airline partners to its stable: TAP Air Portugal, which now allows accrual of award and status miles; Adria Airways, which as a new regional partner of Star Alliance allows accrual and redemption, as well as an Executive bonus; and Croatia Airlines, also a new regional partner of Star Alliance.
* Virgin Blue is talking with other overseas airlines about possible codesharing and frequent flyer redemption deals after announcing an agreement with sister carrier Virgin Atlantic. The value-based carrier, which already has a limited codeshare with United Airlines, said it would begin offering a single Virgin Atlantic reservation code for passengers flying on designated routes of both airlines beginning April 5. “We’ve talked to a large number of airlines about ways we can assist them with a similar product as well as other things such as frequent flyer redemptions,” Virgin Blue spokesman David Huttner said.
* India’s Jet Airways Privilege has partnered with Hertz Rent-A-Car.
* Canada’s Jetsgo will expand into western Canada on Jan. 10, making Jetsgo the only discount airline serving all 10 Canadian provinces. All new routes are eligible to earn double Aeroplan miles until Feb. 28.
* A new agreement between KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Gulf Air has added several destinations to KLM’s network — Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore in Pakistan, and Muscat in Oman. KLM codesharing will also be available on Gulf Air flights between Bahrain and Muscat.
* Bangkok Airways has entered into a codeshare agreement with Thai Airways International on routes from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong and Luang Prabang. Bangkok Airways now also codeshares on Thai-operated flights between Bangkok, Krabi and Phuket.
* Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Emirates Skywards have announced a new marketing partnership. Effective immediately, guests at Fairmont can earn 500 Skywards miles for every qualifying stay at all Fairmont locations.
* ANA and Qatar Airways have announced a reciprocal frequent flyer program agreement, giving the 1.1 million plus ANA Mileage Club members and around 70,000 Qatar’s Privilege Club members the ability to accrue and redeem mileage on each others’ networks.
* China Southern Airlines has inked a new pact with Air France. Effective immediately, Sky Pearl Club members can earn and burn miles on all Air France flights.
* America West Airlines has expanded its marketing agreement with Royal Jordanian. Members of FlightFund and Royal Jordanian’s Royal Plus program can accrue and redeem miles on all scheduled flights operated by either airline, and America West Club members and Royal Jordanian elite members receive access to both airlines’ lounges.