Virgin Australia

By David Flynn, August 31 2012
Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia aims to dramatically boost the number of members of its Velocity Frequent Flyer scheme in the next three years, by which time the airline’s CEO John Borghetti expects Velocity to be transformed “from a frequent flyer program to a broad-based loyalty program in its own right”.

Borghetti wants to see Velocity’s membership base grow from a current tally of 3.2 million to 5 million, and he says the program is already growing at “1,600 to 1,700 people per day”.

Velocity enjoyed a growth spurt of 700,000 new members over the past 12 months, including an ambitious status match against the Qantas Frequent Flyer program which piped high-value business travellers rather than point-earning supermarket shoppers onto Virgin’s books.

The uptake of the status match program and the subsequent retention rate was “way above my expectation and the business case we put together” Borghetti tells Australian Business Traveller, “even allowing for some people who retained Velocity membership but earned at a lower tier, such as going from Platinum to Gold.”

But there’s much more to come, Borghetti says, speaking of a “quantum step change” which recently-appointed Velocity Frequent Flyer CEO Neil Thompson – a former top-ranking manager of Qantas’ own frequent flyer scheme – is charged to deliver.

Rumours of a retail alliance with the Coles FlyBuy program are certain to swirl once again, and would of course position Virgin directly against the highly successful Qantas-Woolworths partnership.

Virgin this week also announced a Velocity double points promotion in which all bookings made through to September 30 for flights from October 1 to November 30 will earn twice the number of Velocity points.

Get the latest updates for business traveller and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter.


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.


10 Sep 2011

Total posts 162

A Forex-Free credit card that earns points like the Bankwest card and replacing FlyBuys with a single Velocity Card would be awesome.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2389

I reckon a multi-currency 'travel money' card would be a top addition to that!


10 Sep 2011

Total posts 162

A forex fee free card and I'll jump to it.

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