It's "Ciao, bella!" for Qantas and Alitalia, with the Flying Kangaroo and the Italian flag-carrier ending their frequent flyer tie-up this month.
After March 31, members of Qantas Frequent Flyer and Alitalia Millemiglia will no longer earn points when travelling with the other airline, nor will they be able to make new flight reward bookings with their points on the complementary airline from the same date.
(Qantas Frequent Flyer members can, of course, continue to use their Qantas Points to book flights with Qantas and its web of other partners – just not with Alitalia.)
Although Qantas frequent flyers are likely to fly from Australia to Italy with Emirates, Alitalia has a respectable network of its own spanning intra-Europe and with connections to The Americas, Asia and the Middle East on which members could earn and redeem points.
In a tangled web of partnerships, the move follows an equity investment by Virgin Australia part-owner Etihad Airways which purchased 49% of the ailing Italian airline and added it to its mini-alliance of ‘Etihad Airways Partners’.
Asked if Virgin Australia was planning to enter into any form of partnership with Alitalia, a spokesperson for Virgin Australia commented only that the airline "is continually looking at new codeshare and interline partner opportunities however we have nothing to announce at this time."
Alitalia also continues to be a member of the global SkyTeam airline alliance, allowing members of any SkyTeam frequent flyer program to continue earning and redeeming points with Alitalia.
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