Qantas, Alitalia end frequent flyer partnership

By Chris C., March 7 2016
Qantas, Alitalia end frequent flyer partnership

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.

Also read: Alitalia to get new business class, become 'five star airline'

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

29 Aug 2012

Total posts 23

VA and AZ do have an interline agreement. It came online at the same time as VA's interline agreement with Air Serbia and publicly announced in this month's Virgin Australia 'Voyeur' magazine.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2509

There's a big difference between a common interline agreement (heck, Qantas even has one with United) and an actual frequent flyer partnership/codeshare arrangement, though – all eyes are on the latter. :)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

29 Aug 2012

Total posts 23

Well aware of that. However, you'll note that the VA rep has ruled out the existence of an interline agreement being on the cards in the quote you provided.


14 Jun 2013

Total posts 353

The VA rep hasn't ruled it out, they just said "we have nothing to announce at this time" which could mean an announcement is around the corner.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

29 Aug 2012

Total posts 23

Here's the excerpt from a magazine released by VA just over a week ago (ergo, it's already been announced).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 241

I think the point of this article is that you used to be able to earn QF points on AZ but you can't anymore but that, despite VA and AZ's relationship via Etihad, the current position is that there is no new agreement between VA and AZ regarding points earning.

The interlining issue is secondary and fairly minor esp. given that many airlines interline these days (see Chris' great example with QF and UA). 

But I'm sure a codesharing agreement between VA and Alitalia is just around the corner given Etihad.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Mar 2016

Total posts 9

Whilst it is sad that this partnership is coming to an end, you weren't really earning many QFF points to beign with when flying with AZ; for example you would only earn 200 points irrespective of FF teir when flying economy between Rome and Milan. On international flights, for example Milan to New York, it seemed that points earnable on AZ were the same as those on EK and AA anyway, except for BA which was lower.

Better yet was that you couldn't claim the points from an AZ flight on, you'd have to call up - I'm not sure many people would waste their time chasing 200 points!

21 Aug 2015

Total posts 86

QF becoming more and more isolated, and QF FF becoming less and less attractive. Easy to get points but VERY hard to use them. No wonder most Australians spending there own money, not company money, on tickets choose another carrier. QF will eventually kill the golden goose, its looking sicker by the day. 

14 Jan 2016

Total posts 6

I think the most important issue here is not the agreement with Qantas yet rather Etihad saving Alitalia from certain collapse with an agreed 49% equity deal. Ex many airlines and an Ansett Manager of Ansett International Marketing & Communications, Cramer Ball has been appointed CEO.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qantas, Alitalia end frequent flyer partnership