Cyrus Capital, one of the two bidders vying to take over Virgin Australia, says it will honour Velocity Frequent Flyer points held by the reward program's 10 million members if the New York-based investment firm is chosen to steer Virgin back into the skies.
Cyrus senior adviser Jonathan Peachey, writing to the Australian Federation of Travel Agents, noted that "rewarding customer loyalty is also important to Cyrus, especially at this time, and if Cyrus becomes the new owner of Virgin Australia, points held by members of the Velocity Frequent Flyer program will be protected and honoured."
Peachey also said that Cyrus would honour outstanding tickets booked and paid for by would-be Virgin Australia passengers “without hesitation”.
Bain Capital has made a similar pledge to the AFTA regarding those tickets, and Executive Traveller has approached Bain for an assurance that it would also honour Velocity Points should it be the choice of administrator Deloitte.
However, Bain is known to be eager to invest in Virgin's technology systems and bolster the analytics behind Velocity, making the loyalty program more closely integrate with the parent airline and potentially operating both through a single website and app.
Deloitte is expected to make its decision by June 30, with Vaughan Strawbridge, who is leading the team behind Virgin Australia's sale, saying that "both bidders are committed to seeing a strong, competitive and sustainable Virgin Australia operating into the future, employing many thousands of Australians, and supporting the tourism industry and state and national economies."
Virgin Australia is now allowing Velocity members to redeem their points on< flights across "popular domestic routes” for travel from September 1, 2020.
That move marked the first stage of the program’s ‘unfreezing’, after a blanket four-week ban on members using points in any way, although many of those restrictions – such as buying gift cards and transferring points to the KrisFlyer program of partner Singapore Airlines – remain in effect.