News in brief:
Amazon Prime Day – big discounts for today only
Today is the 2nd Amazon Prime Day. This is a day when Amazon makes certain items available at big discounts to anyone who is an Amazon Prime member or who is happy to sign up for a free 30 day trial. (They don’t mind if you do this, they reckon there is a good chance you’ll stick with it.)
I was one of very few people to be given advance notice of the deals yesterday. Full details, including how to join Amazon Prime for a free trial, and some sample offers can be found here at Shopper Points.
The best general offer is a £5 gift card (valid until 27th August only) when you buy a £30 Amazon gift card.
Anika will have picked out a few deals of her own over at SP. Whilst not strictly travel related, the following deals looked interesting from a ‘middle aged bloke’ point of view and will be available all day today:
- Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Intense Eau de Toilette – 125 ml £19.62 (was £53)
- Fire TV Stick Streaming Media Player £19.99 (was £35)
- Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Player with 4K Ultra HD £54.99 (was £75)
- Up to 45% off RRP on B&O Speakers and Headphones
- Microsoft Surface Pro 4 12.3-Inch Tablet with Pen (Silver) £749 (was £960)
- Xbox One 500GB Console with Kinect – 3 Game Value Bundle £229 (was £314)
There are also lots of Lightning Deals available which will last for four hours only. I am not allowed to give out pricing details on these so you’ll have to look at the Amazon Prime Day site to find out.As an example, between 12pm and 4pm you’ll get a very good deal on Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne (gift boxed, 75 cl). Cardhu 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is on offer between 1pm and 5pm. There are plenty more.
If you do decide to buy anything, if you visit Amazon via this link then HFP gets a small commission and you can consider your annual HFP subscription paid …..
Qatar Airways files record profits
There is a view that the Middle Eastern airlines are massively loss making, creating unfair competition for established players. The truth is that pretty much anyone could make money running an airline with a hub that is 8 hours flight for half the worlds population, can operate 24 / 7, uses new fuel efficient aircraft and is not bogged down by a £3.7 billion pension deficit a la BA.
(If you’ve ever visited the Qatar Airways head office in London, as I have, it is also very clear that these are not people who throw money around willy nilly!)
That isn’t to say that the ME airlines don’t enjoy some advantages. Finance is marginally cheaper when you have implicit Government backing, for example, but aircraft loans are very keenly priced for everyone. Planes are commodity products and if you have to repossess an A320 you can resell it by the end of the day – and probably at a premium, given the current waiting list.
Qatar’s operating profit was QAR 3.0bn (£630m) on revenue of QAR 35.2bn (£7.4bn). British Airways (not IAG, just BA) made £1.3bn on £11.3bn in 2015 so had a superior profit margin – but then BA isn’t selling £800 return business class flights to Asia and buying up a large % of the world supply of Krug …..!