Emirates has introduced a new tier to its Skywards loyalty scheme, which will better align it to the frequent flyer program of its alliance partner, Qantas. As it had promised to competition regulators, passengers will have access to a new "platinum" tier, which sits above "blue", "silver" and "gold", from April 1. To qualify, passengers have to earn at least 150,000 miles a year.
The cost of recent floods and bushfires has reached up to $175 million for Insurance Australia Group, but analysts still expect profits in the industry to grow this financial year. IAG, which operates NRMA Insurance and CGU, has received more than 13,700 claims related to floods caused by ex-tropical cyclone Oswald in Queensland and northern NSW in January. Those claims are expected to cost it between $120 million and $140 million.
Whitehaven Coal has been granted conditional approval from Canberra to proceed with its Maules Creek open-cut mine project in north-east New South Wales. Environment Minister Tony Burke on Monday gave the green light to the Maules Creek and nearby Boggabri mine proposals, subject to conditions. Conditional approval was also granted to a coal seam methane gas project at Gloucester owned by AGL Energy.
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