Tourism victory: Virgin Australia signs major partnership with United

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Virgin Australia has signed a major partnership agreement with United Airlines that will see carriers share their codes on each other’s flights, offer reciprocal lounge access, upgrade status and tier, and more.

The partnership will take effect in April 2022 and, at the same time, signify the end of Virgin Australia’s current partnership with Delta Air Lines.

Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said the partnership would triple the airline’s reach in the Americas, giving customers “access to more destinations and more benefits when traveling to cities in the United States. United, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America ”.

“The United States is a key market for Virgin Australia, and we know Australians are excited to be able to travel overseas again, so we’ve created hundreds of new ways to do it through United’s extensive services to and from Australia, ”she said.

“Virgin Australia customers will have many more options for traveling from Australia to the United States, with more than three times as many services available to them, which is great news for Australian travelers.

“We are grateful to have such a strong partner in United. They pride themselves on being one of Australia’s longest-standing and longest-standing airline partners and their market strength in both Australia and the United States brings great value to our customers.

CEO of the Virgin Australia Group, Jayne Hrdlicka.

“We look forward to innovating together on behalf of our customers to ensure they have the best travel experiences to over 90 destinations in the United States.

“Our family has just grown and we look forward to welcoming United and their guests on board in April,” said Hrdlicka.

United operates a large network to and from Australia, with daily flights currently operated between San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney.

The carrier is expected to resume Melbourne-California services and direct Sydney-Houston flights in 2022, and United CEO Scott Kirby has said the partnership will expand the airline’s large Australian presence.

“The United States and Australia share a special bond and I am especially proud that United was the only airline to maintain a vital link between these two countries throughout the pandemic,” he said.

“For the future, Virgin Australia is the ideal partner for United. Our partnership offers tremendous business value to both airlines and a shared commitment to providing the best travel experience for our customers, ”said Kirby.

As part of the partnership, Virgin Australia customers will have access to 92 seamless one-stop connections to points across the United States on United’s Australian flights.

Hrdlicka said members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty program will have the opportunity to earn points, status credits and receive tier benefits when traveling with United’s extended services and reciprocal access. at the salons.

In addition to the ability to redeem and earn points and miles, eligible Premier MileagePlus and Velocity members will also receive key benefits when traveling with United and Virgin Australia worldwide, including priority check-in, priority boarding, priority baggage delivery and additional baggage check-in allowance. and priority security clearance.

The carriers say the new partnership will also see Virgin Australia and United working together to improve the customer experience and share best practices in areas such as innovation and sustainability.

United Airlines is a long-time leader in sustainable aviation and last week operated the world’s first commercial passenger flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which marked a turning point in the efforts. industry to fight climate change.

This is not the first time that United and Virgin Australia have partnered. During the Virgin Blue days, United was one of the carrier’s original codeshare partners and the new deal again welcomes a former partner.

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