Virgin Australia intends to strengthen its relationship with ANA, Air Canada and Hawaiian Airlines to offer increased Velocity Frequent Flyer benefits on ‘codeshare’ services carrying a VA flight number.
The Japanese, Canadian and Hawaiian carriers would join the ranks of Singapore Airlines, United Airlines and Qatar Airways, according to a recent filing to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The rebooted Virgin Australia / Singapore Airlines partnership falls under a decision to permit “codeshare pricing arrangements with participating international airlines” for a five-year period through to September 2027.
However, the ACCC’s determination also reveals Virgin Australia sees the international codeshares as “a genuine stepping-stone to resuming its own long-haul international services.”
Virgin assured the ACCC it aims to resume services where they are commercially sustainable… and when it has access to wide-body aircraft.”
The consumer watchdog singled out several “public benefits” of the elevated partnerships including benefits available to Virgin’s Velocity frequent flyers.
While Virgin “has in place existing ‘earn and redeem’ agreements” with a number of airlines, these strengthened partnerships “will in some cases provide Velocity members with a better earn rate and enable them to earn more status credits, when they choose to book with a VA code rather than on a Partner Carrier code on the same flight.”
As previously reported, Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines this week reactivated their codeshare arrangement.
Virgin travellers and Velocity frequent flyers can once again book flights to 42 destinations across the Singapore Airlines global network, including perennial favourites such as Rome, Paris, London and, of course, Singapore.
The carriers say they’re looking to roll out codeshare flights to more destinations across the Singapore Airlines’ network “in the coming weeks”, subject to regulatory approval.
Paused due to the pandemic, codeshares were the last missing piece in the partnership, first established in 2011. They join existing benefits such as KrisFlyer-Velocity points transfer and reward seat bookings across all cabins, both of which returned in July.