Intelligence – January, 06 2009

Intelligence – January, 06 2009

Midwest Miles is the latest program to join the Points.com Global Points Exchange (GPX) where members can trade their miles with members of seven other frequent travel loyalty programs…

Travelers making the trek to Washington D.C. for the inauguration will see increased access to flights. AirTran, JetBlue, Southwest, US Airways and Virgin America all have added flights to their schedule around Jan. 20, 2009, the date of the Obama inauguration…

Southwest is adding New York LaGuardia to its list of destinations. The airline is buying ATA Airlines’ former landing slots, enough to operate seven takeoffs and seven landings per day at LaGuardia. Expect service to begin next year. No word yet on where Southwest will fly from LaGuardia, but Chicago Midway and Florida are the most likely candidates. This is a big move for Southwest who has traditionally flown to smaller, cheaper secondary airports…

Delta continues to expand internationally with new flights from Salt Lake City and New York JFK to Tokyo Narita with connecting service to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and from New York JFK to Gothenburg, Sweden; Valencia, Spain and Zurich. The airline will fly from Atlanta to destinations in Africa: Nairobi, Kenya; Cape Town, South Africa; Monrovia, Liberia; Abuja, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, all via a stop at Cape Verde. Delta will also add a new JFK-Lagos, Nigeria service and will replace its current Atlanta-Dakar-Johannesburg route with a nonstop Atlanta-Johannesburg flight…

Northwest Airlines is discontinuing its nonstop Seattle-London flight on Jan. 8, 2009. Including Northwest’s operations, Delta’s domestic operations were down 12 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 and up nine percent internationally. A consolidated worldwide Delta/Northwest flight schedule should be in place by this summer…

China Eastern is the newest airline partner to join up with Northwest WorldPerks and WorldPerks members can now earn and redeem miles for travel on China Eastern…

At the end of last year, Air Canada received $70 CAD million from Aeroplan in pre-payment of award tickets through May 29, 2009 to help the airline through a slow travel period. In exchange, Air Canada agreed to increase the minimum miles it purchases from Aeroplan each year…

Via Gary Leff’s View from the Wing blog, in last month’s Intelligence we reported a way to earn Starwood Preferred Guest points through AirMilesMart. Leff now says that the offer has been amended to read, “Not Valid on Starbucks Cards.” We agree with Leff’s assessment, “Bummer.”…

JetBlue plans to operate daily service from Fort Lauderdale to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Cancun, Mexico in May, pending government approval…

Virgin America will begin flying to Boston Feb. 12, 2009 from San Francisco and Los Angeles…

Hawaii-based Mokulele Airlines is the newest airline partner to join Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. Mileage Plan members earn 500 miles per segment flown on Mokulele and double miles on flights from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, 2009. Mileage Plan members will be able to redeem miles for flights on Mokulele beginning in early 2009.

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