Virgin Australia to spin off Velocity frequent flyer scheme

By David Flynn, April 3 2012
Virgin Australia to spin off Velocity frequent flyer scheme

Virgin Australia is spinning off its Velocity frequent flyer scheme into a new “stand-alone business unit” headed by a former top-ranking manager of Qantas’ own frequent flyer programme.

The move will see Neil Thompson, who left Qantas as Group General Manager of Loyalty Marketing in 2008 and has since worked at a US-based consultancy specialising in the “optimisation and monetisation of loyalty programs”, appointed as Chief Executive Officer for Velocity Frequent Flyer and reporting directly to Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti.

Virgin Australia has close to three million Velocity frequent flyers, and Borghetti says the programme – which we voted as 2011's Best Frequent Flyer Programme for Australian Business Travellers – “remains a key growth opportunity for our business.”

“We have done a lot of work over the past 18 months to create a solid foundation for the Frequent Flyer program. The next stage will be to position it as the leading loyalty program in Australia and as a key driver of future earnings.”

Qantas has an estimated 8.5 million members in its own frequent flyer program and seeks to boost this to 10 million over the next financial year.

The Red Roo’s frequent flyer revenue tops $1 billion per year, from which it declared $119 million in earnings in the second half of 2011, so it’s no surprise that Virgin wants to see some similar action from Velocity.

Keep up to date with the latest news for Australian business travellers and frequent flyers: tune into @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.


Virgin Blue - Velocity Rewards

12 May 2011

Total posts 32

I do hope they don't undermine the value of VFF as frequent flyer loyalty program in the name of "future earnings" - that seems to be what most airlines are doing these days. 

PS YOu might want to update the file photo. Those were the temporary cards for QFF status matches weren't they? 

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2554

They are indeed, and that's a snap I shot myself during the 'QF starus match' campaign - Virgin Australia has as yet been unable to supply us with any decent usable shots of its Velocity cards! I think I'll have to take my Platinum and do a few pics of it on the keyboard etc...!

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