Air Europa Leaves Flying Blue – Creates Own Frequent Flyer Program ‘SUMA’

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According to an Air France communication, Air Europa will discontinue their partnership with Flying Blue as their frequent flyer program in favor of an own loyalty program effective November 30th 2015.

Air EuropaThe matter has so far not been communicated or commented on by Air Europa themselves, on their website they still advertise Flying Blue.

We received an email from a reader today highlighting the issue and asking if we had more information.

HI there,

there are news on Flyertalk today that Air Europa will exit Flying Blue this month. Do you have any more insight about this? I use UX frequently and right now have Platinum status with Flying Blue.

Thanks, Frank

I looked up the aforementioned thread on Flyertalk (see here) and FT member ‘Goldorak’ quoted from an Air France communique in their french travel agent portal.

UX ne participe plus au programme Flying Blue                25/11/2015

A compter du 30 novembre 2015, Air Europa (UX) ne fera plus partie des compagnies membres du programme Flying Blue, en raison de la mise en oeuvre de son propre programme de fidélité, SUMA.

UX restera partenaire du programme Flying Blue, les membres Flying Blue pourront donc toujours gagner des Miles sur tous les vols marketing et operating par UX, AF, KL ou SkyTeam, et utiliser leur Miles pour réserver un billet prime pour tout vol marketing et operating UX.

Les surclassements, les Primes Promo, les Primes Flex et les Primes d’excédent de bagage ne seront plus proposés sur les vols UX.

Les réservations de primes effectuées avant le 30 novembre 2015 pour des vols après cette date resteront valides et ne seront pas modifiées.

Les surclassements, les Primes Promo, les Primes Flex et les Primes d’excédent de bagage réservés avant les 30 novembre 2015 pour des vols après cette date seront acceptés par UX.

En outre, UX est également membre de l’alliance SkyTeam, ce qui permet aux membres Flying Blue de bénéficier des nombreux avantages SkyTeam dans le monde entier.

Essentially it says that:

  • Effective Nov 30th UZ will no longer participate in Flying Blue due to the start of their own Frequent Flyer Program called SUMA.
  • UX will remain a Flying Blue Partner which means and members can continue collecting and redeeming miles on Air Europe through Flying Blue
  • UX will remain a SkyTeam Member with all that it entails [such as mileage accrual, redemption, elite privileges.]
  • Any awards  such as flights, excess bags, upgrades booked before 30 Nov will be honored even if the flight is after this date.
  • Upgrades, promotional awards, flex-awards and mileage redemption for excess baggage will no longer be available through Air Europa and the new SUMA Program.

There is no information as to how one can sign up for SUMA or whatever else it includes. The announcement comes from Air France as the Flying Blue mother.

Air Europa is quiet about it, no announcement whatsoever on their website (access here) where they still advertise Flying Blue as their Loyalty Program. If indeed they plan to exit on November 30th this shows very poor planning and communication.

Keep in mind, so far all we know is some text quote without a direct source link. We have requested some information from Air Europa but since we can’t say when and if anything will be forthcoming we leave you with these bits and pieces for now.

Conclusion

Air Europa must have made the math and decided that it would be more lucrative to run their own frequent flyer program as a full Skyteam member. Flying Blue undoubtedly charges a good amount to serve as the frequent flyer program for an airline it wasn’t tied to originally. Kenya Airways for example also used Flying Blue in the same fashion.

With their own program, Air Europa can run their own promotions and also hold lucrative mileage sales like many other programs do it. Members can than use these miles which they purchased with a generous bonus for partner awards for which the program itself only pays small fees. The program then pockets the difference as profit.

We will keep you updated once we know more about the SUMA program!

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