NEWS: BA’s new Club World service revealed, Maldives from £599 & IAG buys Air Europa

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BA’s new Club World service revealed

Today BA relaunched its Club World food and drink service onboard, along with the return of the normal bar range including full-size wine and champagnes and dining on demand in First. I will bring you some photos from Club Europe, hopefully later this week. 

In addition to what I confirmed in this article, here is some more information:

  • There are no pre-departure drinks still apart from the bottle of water handed out
  • Canapes are back in First
  • Pre-meal drinks with nuts are back on Club World followed by a one tray service
  • World Traveller has the same meal as before in a box but served on a tray. 

Here is a menu from a flight today:

It’s definitely a huge improvement from what I received on my October Club World flight. 

 

Maldives 5 nights in 5* hotel all-inclusive from £599pp until December 22

The Maldives used to be a destination that was extremely expensive, both in terms of flights and accommodation once you were there. The recent crisis has forced prices downwards substantially, particularly in terms of accocomdation. The lastest offer is one of the lowest I have seen for an all-inclusive stay. The offer is with Travelzoo, one of the largest free online travel clubs that I have used on several occasions. 

The hotel in question is the 5* Furaveri Maldives which is set on a lush 23-hectare island. There is a main pool, wellness village and a PADI Dive centre. The spa has a sauna, a steam room, a plunge pool, and a beauty salon. The package includes a plethora of activities, such as yoga classes, tennis, kayaking, snorkelling, and windsurfing lessons.

The reef by the hotel teems with marine life, and the island is near Hanifaru Bay, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, a vital feeding and breeding ground for manta rays and whale sharks. Meals and drinks are available 24 hours a day, and your mini bar is refilled once every day. The main restaurant, Jaafaeiy, offers international cuisine in buffet style, and show cooking and themed nights. You can also dine à la carte at Raiyvilla (Asian fusion) or at Amigos @ Farumathi (Mexican) at no extra charge once per stay.

Garden villa

The £599 for 5 nights per person is for a Garden villa. This also includes: 

  • Daily buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Jaafaeiy Restaurant
  • A 3-course lunch or a 3-course dinner at the Raiyvilla or at the Amigos @ Farumathi restaurant, once per stay (reservation required)
  • 24-hour snacks at the Udhares Bar
  • 24-hour alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • In-room mini bar refilled daily with select alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • One demi bottle of champagne upon arrival
  • One sunset cruise, per person, per stay
  • One half-day local island excursion, per person, per stay
  • One 30-minute group snorkeling lesson (equipment rental included), per person, per stay
  • One 30-minute group windsurfing lesson (equipment rental included), per person, per stay
  • Use of the fitness centre, tennis, and badminton courts (equipment included)
  • Use of kayaks and windsurfing equipment (for experienced windsurfers only)
  • Group yoga sessions (asana, pranamaya, and nidra) at the Wellness Village

You can add extra nights as well or upgrade to other room types such as a Water Villa which is £1469 for two.

Water Villa

You do have to factor in the transfers to the island which are not included. A 45-minute seaplane transfer between Velana International Airport near the capital, Malé, and the resort starts from US$400 (£295) per adult, US$200 (£147.50) per child under 12, return.

The way that it works is that you buy a voucher and then book your dates. You must email Furaveri Maldives at least 30 days prior to arrival, or by 23 November, 2022 at the latest. Obviously, it is not guaranteed that specific dates are available which is worth bearing in mind. However, you can get a refund up to 14 days before arrival. You can stay at any time until December 2022.

The hotel gets 4.5 out of 5 on TripAvisor. 

You can find the offer on Travelzoo here. 

 

IAG completes Air Europa sale

Despite the fact that the airline group is under intense financial pressure, IAG announced that they have completed the acquisition of Air Europa. They did manage to negotiate a great half price deal though!

Air Europa is the third largest airline in Spain and will provide more opportunities for BA Executive club members to earn and redeem Avios through codeshare flights, no doubt in a similar way to Aer Lingus. Being like Aer Lingus and something of a low-cost hybrid with a more full service long haul product, it is probably unlikely to join oneworld anytime soon. Currently, it is a member of Skyteam with no timeline being set for it to leave. 

Having initially agreed to pay €1 billion for the airline in November 2019,  the airline group has now approved a settlement valued at €500 million. Also, they will not have to pay until the 6th anniversary of the completion of the deal.

The Board of IAG believes that the Acquisition remains strategically important for the future of IAG and Iberia and positions the Group to benefit from growth opportunities as the industry emerges from the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 crisis. They think that the  benefits will be

·      Increasing the importance of IAG’s Madrid hub, transforming it into a true rival to Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris Charles de Gaulle;

·      Unlocking further network growth opportunities; and

·      Delivering significant customer benefits through providing increased choice and schedule flexibility and greater opportunities to earn and redeem miles.

The Air Europa brand will initially be retained and the company will remain as a standalone profit centre within Iberia. Whether it then becomes part of the Iberia brand remains to be seen. Given the difference in service levels, I can see it becoming more like an Iberia Express – with the name of Iberia but set apart as a different brand.

Current Air Europa business class

Luis Gallego, IAG’s chief executive, said:

“Both Iberia and IAG are demonstrating their resilience to face the deepest crisis in aviation’s history. Being part of a large group is the best guarantee to overcome current market challenges which will also benefit Air Europa once the transaction is completed. I am pleased that we have reached agreement with Globalia to defer payment until well into the expected recovery in air travel following the end of the pandemic and when we expect to be realising significant synergies resulting from the transaction.”

 

 

4 Comments on "NEWS: BA’s new Club World service revealed, Maldives from £599 & IAG buys Air Europa"

  1. CW menu might be better than few months ago but still looks pretty bad. I don’t think anyone can stand chocolate mousse any longer as well.

  2. I like the mousse but i was “over it” after the 15th one!… that menu says “Deserts” – PLURAL. Where is the choice?

  3. Tony Odams de Zylva | 21 January 2021 at 9:45 am |

    As a UKCit resident in Galicia, and reliant on either Vueling or Iberia to get anywhere from my local airport here, I struggle to see any upsides for the passenger from this take over – history shows IAG move to the lowest common denominator- ceding routes to Vueling whose service in every respect (from IT/website to ground-handling) is rarely better than dreadful with current management at all levels being complicit in the degradation of all aspects of the passenger experience.

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