Virgin Australia partners with United Airlines; ends alliance with Delta

Virgin Australia Group has announced that it will form a new partnership with United Airlines from April 2022, ending its long-standing alliance with Delta Air Lines. 

The new partnership with United Airlines will establish codeshare cooperation, as well as reciprocal loyalty benefits for members to earn, redeem and receive tier benefits. 

It is expected that Virgin Australia’s new partnership with United Airlines will triple the airline’s reach into the Americas, with passengers to access more destinations and benefits when travelling to cities across the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. 

In turn, the partnership will also extend United’s Australian presence as it offers more flights to Australia than any other U.S. carrier, including daily direct flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney.

Flights from Houston and direct services to Melbourne are expected to resume later in 2022. 

“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 they can do that through United’s extensive services to and from Australia,” Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said in a press statement.

“Virgin Australia customers will have significantly more options for travel from Australia to the States, with more than three-times as many services available to them, which is great news for Australian travellers.”   

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image from Virgin Australia

“The United States and Australia share a special bond and I’m especially proud that United was the only airline to maintain a vital link between these two countries throughout the pandemic,” United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said in the same press release.

“Looking ahead, Virgin Australia is the perfect partner for United. Our partnership provides considerable commercial value for both airlines and a shared commitment to offer the best travel experience for our customers.”  

Virgin Australia’s new partnership with United Airlines will replace the airline’s current codeshare and frequent flyer relationship with Delta Air Lines, whom it has had an alliance with for more than a decade.

“We’d like to thank Delta Air Lines for their long-standing commitment and relationship with Virgin Australia. As a strategic partner with Virgin Australia for many years, Delta Air Lines has shared a wonderful journey with us, and we appreciate and value the many achievements we made together,” said Virgin Australia’s CEO Jayne Hrdlicka.     

“We will work closely with Delta over the coming months to transition our Velocity partnership, and of course, all bookings will continue to be honoured when Delta customers fly on Virgin Australia.”  

Virgin Australia said that it will honor all of its Delta customer bookings, and all Delta customers booked on Virgin Australia services all current benefits of the partnership will still remain. Velocity and SkyMiles Points/miles and Status Credit earn and redemption will also continue. Further details regarding the wind down of the Delta partnership will be announced in early 2022. 

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