HK Express will join Asia Miles, Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Cathay Dragon’s rewards programme, as its new rewards partner.

The news follows Cathay Pacific’s announcement on Friday that it has completed the acquisition of the low-cost carrier.

The partnership will give HK Express passengers access to Asia Miles’ travel and lifestyle benefits, while Reward-U, the low-cost carrier’s own loyalty programme, will officially come to an end after December 31 this year.

Reward-U members can still earn Reward-U points from HK Express and other non-airline partners on or before August 20. The Reward-U points will be credited to their account by September 19, 2019.

However, HK Express will stop issuing Reward-U points for tickets purchased after August 20, except for Bank of East Asia (BEA), Citic and Regal Hotels. These three non-airline partners will continue to issue Reward-U points until September 15, 2019.

All point holders are eligible to redeem their Reward-U points on flights operated by HK Express and claim missing points or flown flights on or before December 31, 2019.

Alternatively, they can choose to convert their Reward-U points into Asia Miles at a rate of 8 Reward-U points to 1 Asia Mile on from the fourth quarter of this year until December 31. After conversion, they can redeem points on HK Express e-vouchers and other offers via the Asia Miles platform.

Currently, passengers travelling with HK Express can earn 10 Reward-U points for each HK$1 (US$0.13) spent, while those purchasing U-Biz (a service that targets corporate travellers with more perks) tickets can earn 20 Reward-U points for every HK$1 (US$0.13) spent. Meanwhile, BEA credit card and AEON credit card holders can also convert their credit card bonus points to Reward-U points.

Before Cathay Pacific’s acquisition of HK Express, Reward-U points were valid for three years. Reward-U points can be used to redeem any flight, but members need to have a minimum of 40,000 Reward-U points in their account in order to redeem the flights.

At the same time, Asia Miles’ members will also have full access to the destinations and flight schedules offered by HK Express, including non-stop flights from Hong Kong to Ishigaki and Shimojishima in Japan, Nha Trang in Vietnam and Chiang Rai in Thailand.

Miles required to redeem HK Express flights will not be fixed by route, but will vary based on demand instead. Members can redeem their miles for e-vouchers on Asia Miles’ online platform before booking their flights on HK Express’ website. Members can then choose to use a combination of e-vouchers and cash to settle the payment.

Commenting on the news, Paul Smitton, CEO of Asia Miles, said: “With HK Express joining us as our airline partner, we hope our members can take advantage with new destination choices and greater flexibility in scheduling their flights.”

“At HK Express, we’re proud to bring travel-hungry adventurers to popular and up-and-coming destinations across Asia,” said Jonathan Hutt, commercial director at HK Express.

“Our strategic partnership with Asia Miles provides our passengers with the opportunity to stay adventurous in their travels through more benefits and flexibility,” he added.

Last week, Business Traveller reported that Cathay Pacific has expanded the codeshare partnership with Lufthansa and Swiss. Members of Asia Miles will be eligible to earn and redeem miles when travelling on the new codeshare routes, while members of Marco Polo Club will also be able to earn Club Points when travelling on codeshare flights marketed by Cathay Pacific and operated by Lufthansa Group. /