Today’s news in brief:
Qatar Airways pulls business class perks for cheapest tickets
There’s bad news for business class bargain hunters, as Qatar Airways is removing some perks for those who buy the cheapest tickets.
The carrier is introducing three “fare families” in both business and economy. In business class, the cheapest “Classic” fares (expected to book into ‘R’ class) will no longer offer lounge access, nor free seat selection at the time of booking.
What’s not clear is whether oneworld status passengers (such as those holding British Airways silver and gold cards) will still be entitled to access a lounge. If so, such passengers might be made to use the (inferior) loyalty lounges at Doha airport, rather than the highly-regarded Al Mourjan business class lounge.
Qatar Airways group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Our new fare families are designed to offer greater simplicity, choice, and flexibility to our passengers and further our ambition to offer a best-in-class retail experience.
“With these new categorisations, it is very clear to the customer what they are buying – there are no hidden fees or additional charges. We are also giving our valued Privilege Club members the opportunity to earn more Qmiles with us to unlock additional benefits or tier upgrades.”
For more details, see the Qatar Airways website.
Vistara launches two new destinations
Dhaka and Doha are the latest destinations to be added to Vistara’s growing international network.
The Singapore Airlines-Tata joint venture airline began flying from Delhi to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, on November 5.
The non-stop flights run on Thursdays and Sundays and are operated by Vistara's A320 aircraft, which feature regular recliner seats in business class. The new service follows a bilateral ‘transport bubble’ formed between India and Bangladesh and is timed as below:
Leslie Thng, chief executive officer of Vistara, said: “There is significant pent up demand for air travel between India and Bangladesh, and the resumption of flights brings relief to the traders, business communities and other regular travellers in the two countries.”
Vistara’s A320s will also provide a new service to Doha, Qatar, beginning November 19. The Doha flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays:
Leslie Thng said: “We are pleased to strengthen our presence in the Middle-East by adding another global city to our steadily growing network, albeit for special flights under the ‘transport bubble’. As an economic hub of the region, Doha continues to draw business travellers and is home to a large number of Indian expatriates.”