Virgin Australia's frequent flyers will once again be able to use their Velocity points on partner airlines as the airline readies redemption bookings across a series of airlines believed to include Singapore Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Air Canada and Etihad Airways.
It's been a long and bumpy road for Virgin since partner bookings were put on hold in March 2020 as Australia's international borders slammed shut.
The airline was forced to pull the plug on its overseas flights – including a new Brisbane-Tokyo route which was just weeks away from launch – and then collapsed into administration, which immediately sparked concerns among frequent flyers over the fate of their Velocity points.
Happily, those points remained protected – and eventually even the points used for forward bookings found their way back into member's accounts. That included many business class trips booked with Velocity points by ET readers on Virgin's Boeing 777 flights to Los Angeles.
Now overseas travel is coming back into the frame, with December 2021 earmarked by several airlines for the resumption of flights to a number of popular international destinations.
Velocity partner redemptions coming back
While Virgin's own return to Los Angeles and Tokyo remains some years into an uncertain future, the airline will soon flick the switch for Velocity redemptions for its international partners.
"Velocity Frequent Flyer is gearing up to re-open international redemption bookings on their partner airlines," the airline confirmed this morning.
"It's anticipated that Velocity members who have accumulated a healthy Points balance during the pandemic, will be able to make redemption bookings directly at the Velocity website on a host of international carriers to be announced soon."
Virgin Australia wasn't able to confirm to Executive Traveller which of its partners would be the first to come back online for Velocity points-based bookings.
Virgin's portfolio of international partners was headlined by Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways and Delta Air Lines, each of which enjoyed solid patronage by Velocity members in years past.
ANA joined the roster in the lead-up to Virgin's Tokyo flights, and Air Canada has already announced it will resume flying between Sydney and Vancouver from December 17.
Also on the partner portfolio and eyeing a December return is Hawaiian Airlines, although question marks hang over the fate of Alitalia, which is set to officially shut down on October 15 ahead of being reborn as a new state-backed flag carrier.