Virgin Australia enters codeshare partnership with Air Canada

By David Flynn , December 15 2016
Virgin Australia enters codeshare partnership with Air Canada

Virgin Australia will partner with Air Canada on flights to Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary from early 2017 under a new the 'strategic cooperation agreement' between the two airlines.

But it's a two-stage process, with the first step covering only Air Canada's flights from Los Angeles as connections with Virgin's flights from Sydney and Brisbane to LAX.

Only under "a subsequent stage of the agreement" – and one without a timeframe attached – will Virgin Australia place a VA flight number onto Air Canada's direct Sydney-Vancouver and Brisbane-Vancouver flights.

Likewise, the frequent flyer benefits will initially be limited to earning Velocity points on those ex-LAX Air Canada flights.

Earning status credits, enjoying a boosted baggage allowance, access to Air Canada's Maple Leaf lounges (below) and other reciprocal frequent flyer benefits – including the ability to use your Velocity Points to book an Air Canada flight – will also kick in "in a subsequent stage of the agreement, with further details to be released in 2017", the airline promises.

A member of the Star Alliance group, Air Canada is the sole airline offering year-round daily flights between Australia and Canada, with Qantas settling for a seasonal schedule with three flights a week between Sydney and Vancouver during December/January and June/July.

Stock up on your Velocity points with our roundup of December's top Virgin Australia credit card sign-up deals

David

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 246

Great to hear connections will be come easier. Getting from MEL to Montreal (YUL) or Toronto (YYZ) is always a little challenging. I had to go MEL to SYD to DFW to ORD to YUL. 

 
Bizarrely, on the way home I could just go YUL to LAX to MEL. Do you think VA will also offer this connectionf for Melbournians?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Feb 2012

Total posts 31

this is great on one hand and will be amazing when it is in that second stage but why bother going half way!?! just give me my SC and priviliges otherwise i am still going to be on Delta.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

31 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

@ JayG. Feeder traffic of Canada's largest airline I think is what they are after not giving you status credits. Enjoy DL 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Feb 2012

Total posts 31

yeah I get the business reasoning but assuming  they are trying to send high value flyers as well then why what advantage does this tie up offer in the short term over any other carrier? might as well fly westjet.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 127

No business class on WestJet.  On a 6h+ flight from YUL-LAX, that's a big issue.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 246

So up until now, has the most direct VA friendly route to Canada been AUS to LAX on VA and then LAX to Vancouver/Montreal/Toronto etc. on DL?


Assuming you're looking for one stop options.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 127

Delta doesn't fly to Montreal or Vancouver from LAX.  The best you can do is a codeshare on WestJet.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 May 2013

Total posts 45

With Toronto as my hometown, I must say this is absolutely amazing!  Trips to YYZ on VA are difficult (given DL doesn't fly LAX-YYZ direct), and trips to YYZ with QF are becoming more challenging, for the timings between QF11 & LAX-YYZ flights aren't as... optimal as they used to be (with the alternate, DFW involving a 6h layover en-route).  Smart thinking, too, for stage 2, given AC's new EWR-YVR-BNE service (which can also be chosen to be EWR-YVR-SYD).  Perhaps this second step will also involve VA codeshares from AC flights heading elsewhere in AU (e.g. Cairns from BNE, etc.).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Dec 2015

Total posts 11

agreed.  Westjet also has a Co-op with Qantas with QF code-shares but WJ are not oneworld, so no lounge access in Canada from the terminals that WJ operate from.   Aeroplan miles are not so beneficial in redemptions, but in the second stage of this tie-up, using velocity points to get redemeptions on AC flights, that will be brilliant.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 127

Aeroplan miles are actually pretty useful outside of Australia, although they've been "enhanced" over the last few years.  Don't count on redeeming for AC's trans-Pacific flights though - award space is pretty limited.

VA Platinum

21 Nov 2013

Total posts 20

I am with you! I'm based in SYD but YYZ is my home airport so this news is spectacular. AC have great connections out of LAX with flights leaving every few hours, making the long trip home a bit quicker than routing through ATL/DTW/JFK or any of the others that DL fly through. Plus, when stage 2 rolls around, the AC lounge at LAX is not terrible at all.

Well done VA!

03 Aug 2015

Total posts 59

I assume it will also cover MEL-LAX when it starts - which will be the most benifitial due to Melbournes lack of a AC service. 

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 492

I wish Virgin would do a deal for Sydney to Shanghai with somone

08 Apr 2011

Total posts 25

Virgin Australia is starting to look a little like 'Star Alliance Lite'. I wonder if they will finally bite the bullet?

The second stage of the agreement would be fantastic for Virgin Australia. That said I wonder if Delta would have any problems with it since they'd probably rather use their Seattle hub to connect VOz flyers to Canada... but Delta don't have the jets yet so I guess Air Canada gets the route.


From what I know, VOz has pushed for Delta to expand its presence in the Australian market and so far Delta hasn't done so. Perhaps that's one of the reasons Virgin went with Air Canada (it would also make things easier for international connecting passengers than going via the US with Delta). 

13 May 2016

Total posts 32

This is fantastic! As a VA Gold member this would be super benifical, I really hope the second half of this agreement goes ahead. I have some Air Canadian flights coming up in February, hopefully lounge access is an added bonus by then.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Dec 2015

Total posts 11

you can also buy maple leaf lounge access if the second half of the tie-up is delayed:

https://www.airclublounge.com/AC/en/memberships/canada.aspx

Will Virgin hurry up and join Star Alliance!

Singapore Airlines, South African Airlines, Air NZ and now Air Canada...Its only a matter on time!!!

29 Oct 2016

Total posts 35

Will help with Economy flights to Calgary and Ontario: VA to LAX in VA's civilized 3-3-3 777 to avoid Sardine 'Class' 3-4-3 on
AC's, then AC to YYC or YYZ, and reverse.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 121

I'm planning to book BNE-LAX (Air Canada seems like a good option), however, do we know by mid Apr 2017, this "Extended" virgin relationship would be launched so i can obtain status credits both ways, or would this be more like end of 2017?

And also can someone please help me find the way to start a new topic, with the website upgrade, i'm a little lost and cannot find this link. David?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2405

1. We don't have any more insight into the dates beyond what's in the article

2. To start a discussion, click the Community tab at the top of the screen, then choose the discussion group that's most relevant to your topic and click into that group, then start a new discussion.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 121

Thank you david. Got it.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

28 Jan 2016

Total posts 9

More great options for Velocity in 2017... hope that it becomes bookable on line via the portal like EY, DL, SQ etc rather than having to phone up for VS, AZ etc. Don't think they need to be a member *alliance, scary team or 1world.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

27 Jan 2017

Total posts 7

Any more details of this now nearly 4 months on? 


Delta from LAX to VYC is fine but the times don't line up great from va1 or va7. The maple leaf lounge is also great at LAX. 


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