Virgin Australia doubles up on flights to Europe with Singapore & Etihad

By David Flynn, November 20 2012
Virgin Australia doubles up on flights to Europe with Singapore & Etihad

Virgin Australia will dramatically boost the number of its Europe-bound codeshare flight options next year, with Singapore Airlines flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to twelve key European business destinations plus several cities in Asia.

Significantly, the European routes overlap those of Virgin Australia's other partner Etihad, a Virgin Australia spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller today.

This means travellers can choose to connect through either Singapore Changi with Singapore Airlines or Abu Dhabi with Etihad, while also earning Velocity Frequent Flyer points and enjoying perks of their Gold and Platinum status en route.

The new codeshares will cover:

  • London - 4 daily, operated by A380 & 777-300ER
  • Manchester - daily, operated by 777-300ER
  • Paris - daily, operated by A380
  • Barcelona - 5 weekly services, operated by 777-300ER
  • Rome - 2 weekly services, operated by 777-200ER
  • Milan - 5 weekly services, operated by 777-300ER
  • Zurich - daily, operated by A380
  • Munich - daily, operated by 777-300ER
  • Frankfurt - double daily, operated by A380 and 777-300ER
  • Amsterdam - daily, operated by 777-200ER
  • Copenhagen - 3 weekly services, operated by 777-200ER
  • Moscow - 5 weekly services, operated by 777-300ER

The new flights include Singapore Airlines planes with one of the best business classes in the sky, a fully flat bed with direct aisle access that's already on the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER jets.

And as Australian Business Traveller reported last week, SQ is also upgrading its older Boeing 777-200ER planes to that top-notch business class standard.

Would you prefer Etihad's fully flat Pearl Business Class seats...
Would you prefer Etihad's fully flat Pearl Business Class seats...

Virgin says the new codeshare services will come into effect in early 2013, and include flights from Australia's east coast. Virgin Australia's current SQ codeshares to Europe and the UK are restricted to Adelaide, Perth and Darwin so as not to overlap with the Etihad arrangement.

...or Singapore Airlines' business class?
...or Singapore Airlines' business class?

For its part, Singapore Airlines gains immediate codesharing to all of Virgin Australia’s domestic destinations and aims to include trans-Tasman flights between Australia and New Zealand destinations Dunedin, Queenstown and Wellington in the coming months.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

19 Mar 2011

Total posts 7

This is really exciting, and it gives the Australian passengers a real purpose now to save up their frequent flyer points on Virgin and gives a mega boost to their banking credit card partners.

Which makes a points earn and spend strategy now even more important.

Virgin customers now have a real ability to redeem their points for some valuable fligth rewards.

09 Nov 2011

Total posts 88

I just hope the fares for Business and First are more competitive as they appear to be based on the SQ - 'we are more expensive than anyone else' methodology. With QF and EK offering $8,000 return Business class fares to Europe, one would think SQ/VA would match it to be competitive. At the moment, this is not the case if you look at the Virgin website and try booking Adelaide to London return Business class for example - $12,000 +. That is a lot extra for a Singapore girl and a W I D E seat.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 261

I think DME is operated 5 times weekly, not daily. Nice to see that more flights from BNE have been added to the list.

On a side note, hoping for the day that SQ decide to deploy the 77W on at least one of their 3 dailies to Brisbane.

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 667

Yes indeed! Well spotted on the Moscow typo.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 735

Whilst it could give a boost to your mileage with VA, I agree that pricing will be key. Furthermore, I am eager to know whether somebody has any info on the ability to redeem award seats on SQ with VA miles. Even if they offer them as codeshare, i think it will be tough as SQ is very stingy releasing award seats to partners (Star Alliance partners do not get access to business class seats on proutes with upgraded seats). Unless VA will have the seats in their own inventory to offer as award, I see an issue redeeming (unless you intend to fly economy).

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2012

Total posts 43

SQ62 SIN-DME is definitely only 5x weekly. I'm on that flight in 2 weeks time.

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 667

Yes indeed -- well spotted on that typo.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 65

Two things to be said about the SQ/Virgin arrangement: when redeeming Velocity points SQ are astonishingly expensive: 600,000 required points Oz to Europe compared with 250,000 points on Virgin Atlantic or Etihad (First class on QF is less!)

Then if you leave from my homeport of Brisbane, SQ use a "regional" aircraft with awful angled 'wedgie' seats in a 2-2-2 - not the big wide things at 1-2-1 you see in the photo. Not nice on overnight from SIN, and an an outrageous point cost for the experience.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2012

Total posts 268

That's great news! This gives us a chance to fly further with more oppourtunities with our points. Their new frequent flyer program is really competitive and really good!

I think it's about time Virgin Australia expands its International Long Haul fleet. They only fly to two cities on 5 aircraft and it has been 5 years. John Borghetti should shift his focus on international routes as well, not just focussing on the domestic network.

Good job Virgin Australia!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 229

Even more of a bonus for Brisbane passengers travelling to Europe, now they no longer have to stop in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, just Singapore.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2011

Total posts 82

I'm only interested in Asia from Brisbane but would prefer EK to Singapore and SQ on the return leg; I don't believe that's possible even under code sharing.

I am also interested to know whether my partner who is a UA frequent flyer can book a flight on a Virgin aircraft using an NZ or SQ flight number and get Star Alliance points

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 452

This is Great News.The last time I did a trip to Europe/UK was before these two Airlines partnered up which was in 2011.I flew Singapore Airlines but they were credited to Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus which is a joke for Australians unless they plan to use connecting Lufthansa flights between Singapore and Europe and talk about stingy at only 50% mileage.It was only thanks to a late 2009 Vietnam trip before that I got enough Miles for a set of Time Magazines 1 year 12000 points.This by comparison return gives me enough for either Domestic Travel on Virgin Australia or a lot of Shopping Vouchers.

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 3

I am disappointed in the codeshare arrangements. I haven't been able to select a seat or meal online, even with having a gold status on both airlines. Also tried to upgrade my seat, therefore bought a more expensive fare - SIA wouldn't because it was a VA flight (and we all know it is SIA) and VA wouldn't while it was a SIA operated flight. No way I could use my 150K miles for an upgrade. I think this is not a customer friendly code share and I seriously have to rethink what the best way is to get around this.

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