Qantas has got off the ground quickly with a promotion giving travellers triple Qantas points when booking eligible flights in economy between Sydney or Melbourne and London.
It’s a smart move by Qantas, as the Brexit vote has concentrated people’s minds on Britain and the falling level of the pound is an added attraction for visitors. One financial pundit has predicted the pound could fall to parity with the US dollar later this year or early 2017 – though similar forecasts were made in the mid-1980s and parity never happened. The pound hit a record low against the US dollar of USD 1.05 in February 1985.
The Qantas offer doesn’t necessarily mean the airline is psychic. It’s a smart, swift promotion and the date of the Brexit vote was no secret.
This offer is valid on Qantas bookings made on QF1, QF2, QF9 and QF10 before 11.59pm (AEST) 4 July 2016 and is valid for travel between 4 October 2016 and 22 November 2016, or between 24 January 2017 and 28 March 2017.
A Bronze Qantas Frequent Flyer customer, for instance, could earn at least 55,800 Qantas Points in economy return between Sydney and London Heathrow.
The Australian dollar is riding high against the pound and yesterday was worth (mid-market rate) 55.6 cents as opposed to 49.1 cents one month earlier. That’s an increase of 13.2% in value.
Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank, expects pound-to-US-dollar parity in coming months because sterling has a history of protracted adjustments following major events, Marketwatch.com reported.
The moves that followed the pound’s exit from the exchange-rate mechanism and the collapse of Lehman brothers took months to unfold, Osborne noted.
One pound sterling is currently (11am Wednesday 29 June 2016) worth USD 1.33 and AUD 1.80.
Britain’s Financial Times says the UK’s tourism industry is set to benefit from Britain’s vote to leave the EU, as the falling pound attracts an influx of international visitors and Britons decide to holiday at home as holidays in Europe become more expensive.
The Financial Times quoted Denis Fourey, a banker from Guadeloupe in the French Caribbean, currently visiting Britain, saying: “It’s certainly been great to see how much cheaper things have become since last Thursday.”
While that might benefit leisure travel, it may not be much help to business travel.
For tourists, the spotlight was already on Britain, with commemorative events like the Queen’s 90th birthday and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Now Britain is gearing up to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth and the launch of the film adaption of The BFG.
Written by Peter Needham