What to Know Now

Singapore Airlines is making friends left and right this week as mileage partnerships with both Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia come to light.

The partnership with the Kiwis will allow passengers flying on opposing carriers to earn miles in their home mileage program — something fairly common between two Star Alliance Carriers. Virgin Australia and Singapore’s tieup will allow passengers to swap points between programs, though the partnership doesn’t go much deeper.

Both moves reflect Singapore’s desire to establish superiority in the Oceania region, a smart move given the recent faltering from Qantas. Considering the general overall ratings of Singapore, I’m glad to see them expand their reach.

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Top Story

Things are getting awkward in Paris as Air France is finally starting to realize how big of an impact its 11-day pilot strike is having. Passengers across Europe have been shimmying around Air France airports and flights as the airline and its pilots bicker about route expansions, and the expansion of Transavia, the airline’s low-cost arm, is now at risk.

For the business travelers among us, the strike may cool down as early as today, but this isn’t the end of the tenuous relationships between the unions and management. Our advice through the rest of the year: book British.

Social Quote of the Day

With Air France pilots on strike, T’s fashion editors are stranded in Milan (eating gelato, visiting Marni’s flower market). Worse things…

@tmagazine | T Magazine, The New York Times Style Magazine

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Airlines

United Getting Ahead of Winter Weather Cancellations By Cutting Flights Now:
Long before the first snowflakes fall, United Airlines is planning cuts to its winter schedule. Read more at Skift

Virgin Australia raises the bar yet again revealing its new Domestic Business Class: Virgin Australia is to introduce what it calls Business/First class on transcontinental routes from Perth as part of one of the most dramatic upgrades of cabin product ever seen by an Australian airline. Read more at AirlineRatings

Warren Buffet Is Taking His NetJets to China’s Booming Market: A joint venture between Warren Buffett’s NetJets Inc. and two Chinese investment companies won approval to fly private charters in China as it seeks to tap rising wealth in the world’s second-largest economy. Read more at Skift

Air France Says It Won’t Back Off Low-Cost Carrier Push, Despite Pilot Strike: Air France-KLM says it isn’t ready to abandon a plan to transfer activities to a low-cost carrier, contradicting a government minister’s claim. Read more at Skift

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Airports

Helsinki Airport’s Plan to Bring One Great Gateway Airport Under Just One Roof: Helsinki Airport has drawn up ambitious plans for growth by 2020, aiming to accommodate 20 million passengers by the year of perfect vision. Read more at Skift

Miami International Airport Makes Commitment to Beacon Technology: Miami International Airport has announced that it will be the first airport in the world to deploy beacons across the entire airport on SITA’s Common-Use Registry open standard framework. Read more at Skift

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Tech

Lyft to Acquire Hitch For Its Ride-Sharing App and Drivers: Corral Labs makes Hitch, an app for San Francisco consumers that lets them coordinate rides with other people who are going in the same direction, akin to carpooling. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Hitch’s drivers and employees will be asked to join Lyft and its service will close, Lyft said.. Read more at Skift

The Winners of Inaugural Skifties Social Media Travel Awards, the Full List: We are extremely excited to announce the 20 winners of our inaugural Skifties social media travel awards. Read more at Skift

Amtrak is giving 24 people a ‘writer’s residency’ on its trains: Amtrak has announced two dozen recipients of its residency awards, which will send writers on a long-distance trip where the romance of an aging transportation system with an illustrious history will hopefully inspire them to create beautiful, possibly train-related work.  Read more at The Verge

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Hotels

Nigeria’s Transcorp Hotels to Use IPO Proceeds to Expand Luxury Properties: Transcorp Hotels Plc will invest the proceeds of an 8 billion naira ($49 million) initial public offering into two new luxury Nigerian properties as the operator seeks to exploit a rise in international travel. Read more at Skift

Skift Global Forum: Starwood’s Chief Brand Officer on Loyalty and Innovation: Starwood isn’t the world’s biggest hospitality company by market cap — that’s Hilton — but it is the leader when it comes to combining old-school marketing with modern tools like social media to expand it’s reach. Read more at Skift

HotelTonight to Expand Bookings to One Week in Advance: HotelTonight was the first-mover in the mobile- and tonight-only hotel space, and it now is figuring out a way to get bigger by expanding into offering stays up to seven days in advance. Read more at Skift

A quirky 5-star Aussie hotel chain has a menu of their most-wanted: The 14 items and the prices provided would add up to $559 if you opted for all of them so if you even thought about knocking any of them off, your ‘purchases’ will, eventually, appear on your bill. Read more at News.com.au

Your Turn

Our old friend Scott Mayerowitz from the AP got the chance to try out British Airways’ disaster simulator and produced this neat report. I love how the passengers in the photo care more about their phones than the demonstration.

Tips and Comments

Can be sent to gm@skift.com and @grantkmartin. We publish the Business Newsletter twice a week on Monday and Thursday.

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Photo Credit: An Airbus A380 jet of Singapore Airlines takes off from the airport in Zurich. Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters