The ACCC is expected to make its final ruling following public comments on the proposal. The two airlines are also awaiting approval from the...

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given draft approval to Singapore Airlines’ proposed alliance with Virgin Australia.

According to Singapore Airlines, regulatory approval for the proposed alliance will enable Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia to build an integrated alliance, with an expanded network and seamless service offerings for travelers.

Singapore Airlines says the alliance will connect its own global network with Virgin Australia’s wide range of Australian and Pacific destinations, offering customers seamless connections, convenient flight schedules, access to more airport lounges and greater opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles.

In late 2007, Singapore Airlines became the first customer to take delivery of the super-jumbo Airbus A380 and it is one of the largest customers for the type, with a total of 19 ordered to date and holding options on six more

“We are pleased with the ACCC’s draft approval,” says Subhas Menon, Singapore Airlines’ regional vice-president South West Pacific. “We pride ourselves on setting the benchmark for service excellence, product innovation and network connectivity in line with our customers’ needs, and our partnership with Virgin Australia will enable us to deliver a best-in-class travel experience across Australia.

Adds Menon: “Today’s announcement will be welcome news to leisure and corporate travellers alike who will benefit from the more attractive and competitive travel options this alliance will provide.”

“The proposed Singapore Airlines alliance is a key plank in Virgin Australia’s strategy to build an international network of airline partners that offers global coverage,”  says John Borghetti, CEO of the Virgin Australia group of airlines. “The alliance would also be very positive for Australian tourism, including Regional Australia, as both airlines will promote Australia in many cities throughout Asia.”

The A330 which was the first aircraft to show the Virgin Australia name and livery touches down at Sydney's Kingsford-Smith Airport on May 4, 2011, the day the Virgin Blue Group revealed its new identity

The ACCC is expected to make its final ruling following public comments on the proposal. The two airlines are also awaiting approval from the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS).

Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia lodged an application with the ACCC and CCS in June under which the airlines propose to codeshare on each other’s international and domestic flights; offer reciprocal frequent flyer programme benefits and lounge access; coordinate schedules between Singapore and Australia and beyond to provide seamless connections; and engage in joint sales, marketing and distribution activities.