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.
Virgin Australia has also signed a partnership with Qatar Airways which will open the global network of the Doha-based carrier to Virgin travellers and inversely, the domestic network to travellers on flights from Qatar.
Stock up on your Velocity points with our roundup of December's top Virgin Australia credit card sign-up deals