Virgin Australia has its eyes on the European prize, with plans to codeshare Singapore Airlines flights to Paris and Amsterdam alongside its existing European routes with partner Etihad.
The move will give business travellers more flights, more flexibility -- and the chance to earn more Velocity frequent flyer points.
The routes would also set Virgin Australia, Etihad and SQ against the existing Qantas-Air France codeshare to Paris via Singapore.
It also puts soon-to-be oneworld and Qantas partner Malaysia Airlines -- a former Virgin partner -- in the crosshairs, as MAS flies to both Paris and Amsterdam via its Kuala Lumpur hub.
Virgin’s application for codeshare status on these two SQ routes, lodged this week with aviation regulator IASC, would mean you earn the full Virgin Australia rate of Velocity frequent flyer points along with point bonuses for Silver, Gold and Platinum members.
New codeshares are especially good news for passengers based outside Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, who would have an increased range of connection options when booking with Virgin Australia.
Those passengers could use Singapore Airlines' flights via Changi rather than requiring a connection in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Virgin Australia or Etihad planes.
(Singapore Airlines has flagged a desire to boost its flights into Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth this year, beginning with an increase in Adelaide-Singapore flights from July 2.)
The move also signals Virgin’s willingness to ‘double dip’ on routes by offering flights with two partners in Virgin chief John Borghetti’s growing ‘virtual network’.