June 20, 2019 / 9:26 AM / a month ago

Accor and Air France-KLM expand ties with joint loyalty program

FILE PHOTO - The logos of AccorHotels group is pictured during a news conference at the Pullman Bangkok King Power hotel, in Bangkok, Thailand, June 15, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

PARIS (Reuters) - Europe’s largest hotel group Accor and airline Air France-KLM said they were broadening their loyalty programs 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 programs, 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 program has 57 million members worldwide while Air France-KLM’s ‘Flying Blue’ loyalty program has over 15 million members.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Susan Fenton

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