Singapore Airlines and the Virgin Australia group of airlines – formerly the Virgin Blue group – have signed an agreement that will enable them to establish a long-term alliance.
Under the agreement, the two airlines propose to codeshare on each other’s international and domestic flights; offer reciprocal frequent-flyer program 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.
The alliance will connect Singapore Airlines’ international network with Virgin Australia’s range of Australian and Pacific destinations. Through the Singapore Airlines network, Virgin Australia customers will have access to some 70 additional destinations, while through the Virgin Australia network Singapore Airlines customers will have access to some 30 additional destinations.
Members of Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer frequent-flyer program will be able to earn and redeem miles on Virgin Australia flights, while Virgin Australia’s Velocity members will be able to earn and redeem miles on Singapore Airlines-operated flights.
The two airlines say they will lodge an application with the relevant regulatory authorities to enable them to co-operate across a broad range of commercial functions. According to Singapore Airlines, approval will allow the airlines to build a deep and integrated alliance with seamless service offerings to the traveling public.
“Singapore Airlines has been committed to the Australian market for more than 40 years and we are always looking for ways to serve our customers better,” says Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong. “With regulatory approval, the partnership will enable us to offer even more choice for domestic and international air travel. Together with Virgin Australia we will provide the public with access to an enlarged network, offering a first-rate, integrated travel experience.”
Adds Goh: “The partnership presents a significant opportunity for Singapore Airlines to drive growth in a manner consistent with our focus on service excellence, product innovation and network connectivity. It will enhance the attractiveness of Australia as a travel destination while also opening up new horizons for travellers from Australia.”
Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti remarks: “We are delighted to be partnering with one of the most respected and innovative airlines in the world. When it first launched in Australia, Singapore Airlines revolutionised international air travel for Australians, providing a world class service to Asia, Europe and beyond.”
Borghetti continues: “Asia is clearly a critical market for us as we build our international alliance network. Singapore Airlines’ extensive network throughout Asia will be particularly attractive to our international business and leisure travelers and this partnership, along with our other alliances, will mean Virgin Australia can now offer truly global flight coverage. With the recent re-positioning of our brand and the launch of our product enhancements, including domestic business class, Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines are ideally suited as airline partners.”
As part of their agreement, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia have agreed that, from 1 August 1, Singapore Airlines customers will be able to interline on Virgin Australia’s domestic network, allowing them to travel to a range of destinations with one ticket, as well as offering through-checked baggage, terminal transfers and inclusive meals; and Virgin Australia Velocity Gold members and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold members will have reciprocal access to each airline’s airport lounges.
Subject to approval from the relevant regulatory authorities, customers should see the full benefits of the alliance from late this year, according to Singapore Airlines.