Aviation

Virgin Australia axes deal with Royal Brunei Airlines, as state-owned hotels hide on social media

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

The backlash over Brunei’s harsh new laws that include punishing homosexuality with the death penalty has been turned up another notch, with Virgin Australia launching its own boycott.

Staff at Virgin were notified in an email on Wednesday that the airline had decided to end its staff leisure travel agreement with Brunei’s national carrier, Royal Brunei Airlines, in the wake of the the Southeast Asian country’s new laws.

The Islamic laws, which were introduced earlier this week, make sodomy, adultery and rape punishable by death-by-stoning. Public flogging as a punishment for abortion also applies, as well as amputation for theft.

“Given the harsh (including death) penalties being introduced for activity that is legal and acceptable in Australia, the myID agreement between Virgin Australia and Royal Brunei has now been terminated effective immediately,” the email to Virgin staff said.

A Virgin spokesperson told Travel Weekly that the staff travel agreement was for the sole purpose of employee leisure travel benefits only, and that the airline does not sell seats on Royal Brunei.

“Under a separate interline ticketing agreement, Royal Brunei sells seats available on Virgin Australia aircraft for select routes within Australia,” the spokesperson said.

“There is no change to this particular agreement.”

Virgin’s move comes as the federal government has been called on to ban Royal Brunei from Australia, with an online petition garnering more than 17,000 signatures at the time of writing.

Brunei-owned hotels go into hiding

Meanwhile, a number of hotels owned by Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s investment company have shut down their social media accounts in the wake of a boycott led by celebrities George Clooney, Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres.

Brunei Investment Agency owns nine luxury hotels across the US and Europe, including legacy institutions such as Beverly Hills Hotel, London’s The Dorchester and Paris’ Plaza Athenee.

However, when you search for any of these hotels on Twitter, their profiles no longer exist.

The nine hotels are part of the Dorchester Collection, which has pinned the following tweet “in light of recent events”:

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

One response to “Virgin Australia axes deal with Royal Brunei Airlines, as state-owned hotels hide on social media”

Leave a Reply

Tourism

Three travel marketing trends to drive bookings in 2020

by Chris Greenwood

Surrounded by picturesque beaches filled with fun-loving locals and a plethora of exotic animals, Australia is a bucket-list destination for […]

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas’ bitter court stoush with Perth Airport continues

by Christian Fleetwood

The flying kangaroo has been ordered to hand over information on airport fees and the profitability of its Perth route in an ongoing legal battle with Perth Airport.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

AFTA boss says “many and very serious questions” to be asked about Excite Holidays

by Huntley Mitchell

Jayson Westbury says he is committed to uncovering the truth about the collapse of Excite Holidays, which has left many agents and their clients in limbo.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Venice: Low tide sees canals become impassable by gondolas

Tourists to the city of Venice have been met with a stark contrast to November’s high tides.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Chimu’s new national sales manager, SA Premier takes state’s top tourism job + MORE!

It’s ups and downs in this Flavour of the Week, with appointments and resignations aplenty. For added enjoyment, Travel Weekly highly recommends reading this with an alcoholic beverage in hand.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Agents can now book brand-new expedition voyages with Viking

Viking’s brand-new expedition itineraries have launched, and they just happen to coincide with the launch of Travel Weekly’s ‘Pub Crawl’ and ‘Weekend Bender’ itineraries.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline employee’s sassy tweet goes viral

You can absolutely tell who on Twitter has worked in customer service before based on their response to this viral tweet.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

WATCH: skateboarder’s plane toilet prank goes terribly wrong

This one has everything you want in a Friday story: a pro skateboarder, a prank gone wrong and even a dash of toilet humour. All that’s missing is an early mark and a cheeky wine.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

These are your 2020 travel horoscopes, courtesy of G Adventures

We don’t know about you, but we think horoscopes are pretty neat. In fact, we use Mercury in retrograde as an excuse for just about everything.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: agents treated to KURIOS performance, PTM hits Papua New Guinea + MORE!

Judging by the length of this wrap, you agents sure have been quiet lately. Well, as quiet as a bunch of jet-setting socialites can be.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Aloha Friday Wrap: Hawaii’s latest news and developments, Hawaiian Airlines’ year in review + MORE!

It’s our first Aloha Friday Wrap for 2020, and we can guarantee you’ll be well-informed about all Hawaii has to offer after reading this.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Outrigger’s ‘Australia Day in Waikiki’ event to raise funds for bushfire relief

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts is joining the worldwide effort in supporting the Australian bushfire crisis.

Share

CommentComments