PARIS (Reuters) – Europe’s largest hotel group Accor and airline Air France-KLM said they were broadening their loyalty programmes by offering a dual reward scheme to their entire global customer base.
Some investors have said they see sense in tie-ups between the two companies through cooperations on loyalty programmes, after Accor dropped plans to buy a minority stake in AirFrance-KLM last July, at a time when the airline was hit by boardroom and staff unrest.
Accor had said that a stake in the Franco-Dutch airline could help it compete better against travel packages offered by online rivals such as Expedia and Booking.com, but investors questioned why the hotel group would need to buy a stake in the troubled airline and said a looser tie-up was preferable.
“Every time our customers travel on a flight marketed and operated by Air France and/or KLM, or stay a night at an Accor hotel, they will now simultaneously earn both Flying Blue Miles and Le Club AccorHotels Reward points,” the companies said in a joint statement on Thursday.
Accor’s ‘Le Club’ loyalty programme has 57 million members worldwide while Air France-KLM’s ‘Flying Blue’ loyalty programme has over 15 million members.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Susan Fenton)