Dubai-based Emirates, and Virgin Blue Group’s new international airline V Australia are beginning a codeshare partnership on the trans-Tasman route between Australia and New Zealand on October 25.
The codeshare agreement ― Emirates’ first with an Australian carrier ― establishes Emirates as V Australia’s first codeshare partner outside of the Virgin Group.
Earlier, Delta Air Lines and V Australia announced a planned codesharing joint venture on transpacific and South Pacific routes, but this has yet to receive government approval and will not begin before October 25. V Australia also has announced a planned codeshare agreement with Virgin America. It also has linked frequent flyer programs with Virgin Atlantic Airways on round-the-world fares, and V Australia codeshares with its sister carrier Virgin Blue, which already has a codeshare with Virgin Atlantic.)
“Core to our approach is working closely with reputable airline partners such as Emirates to ensure V Australia continues to grow in the Australian market,” says Brett Godfrey, Virgin Blue’s chief executive.
According to Emirates, the new agreement will provide V Australia customers with seamless connections when traveling between New Zealand and the U.S. Passengers can travel on the trans-Tasman sector on Emirates flights and connect conveniently to/from V Australia’s international service between Sydney and Los Angeles.
Emirates flights EK 419 arriving from Christchurch into Sydney at 6:20 p.m. or EK 413 arriving from Auckland at 8:05 p.m. connect with V Australia’s Los Angeles service, VA1, at 9:05pm.
In the other direction, passengers touch down in Sydney at 6:05 a.m. on VA2 from Los Angeles and connect with EK412 at 8:50 a.m. to Auckland or EK418 at 10:15 a.m. to Christchurch.
Under the new codeshare agreement, travelers will be able to schedule a stopover in Sydney in either direction before continuing on their journey with Emirates or V Australia.
V Australia will market the seats allocated to it under the code share agreement. The code share flights will be identified with the Emirates ‘EK’ code as well as with V Australia’s ‘VA’ code.
Emirates says that the new codeshare will provide a trans-Pacific travel option for New Zealand travelers with fares that will be up to 40% per cent less than existing fares between New Zealand and the USA.
The Virgin Blue Group and Emirates already share a partnership that offers reciprocal benefits within the two airline’s frequent flyer programs ― Skywards and Velocity respectively. Emirates is also an interline partner of Virgin Blue.
Emirates already has code share agreements with Air India, Air Malta, Air Mauritius, Continental Airlines, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Korean Airlines, Oman Air, Philippine Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, South African Airways and Thai Airways. However, to date Emirates has refrained from joining any of the three major global alliances and Emirates often has indicated publicly it has no wish to do so.
The Dubai airline’s parent, The Emirates Group, is opening a luxury eco-resort in the Wolgan Valley in Australia’s Blue Mountains in October.