Virgin Australia takes flight with United Airlines

  • Virgin Australia Group will partner with United Airlines from April 2022, tripling the number of U.S. cities Virgin Australia customers can reach, while providing United customers seamless connectivity to Australia’s most popular destinations.
  • United Airlines will offer Virgin Australia customers more non-stop flights from Australia, and 92 seamless one-stop connections to points across the USA.
  • Members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty program will have the ability to earn Points, Status Credits and receive tier benefits when travelling on United’s extensive services.
  • Virgin Australia and United Airlines to offer reciprocal lounge access.

Tuesday 14 December 2021: Virgin Australia Group has today announced a new partnership with United Airlines that will triple the airline’s reach into the Americas, with customers to access more destinations and more benefits when travelling to cities across the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America.

Commencing in April 2022, the partnership will establish codeshare co-operation, as well as reciprocal loyalty benefits for Velocity Frequent Flyer members to earn, redeem and receive tier benefits when travelling on United’s vast domestic and international network, connecting from the carrier’s multiple Australian gateways.

The partnership will also extend United’s large Australian presence, as the airline offering more flights to Australia than any other U.S. carrier, including daily direct flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney, with flights from Houston and direct services to Melbourne expected to resume later in 2022. Under this new partnership United’s customers will now have seamless access to top Australian cities right across the country through Virgin Australia’s extensive domestic network.

Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said the partnership was an exciting opportunity for Virgin Australia customers while tripling the airline’s reach into the United States.

“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 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.

“We are grateful to have such a strong partner in United. They have proudly been one of Australia’s most loyal and long serving aviation partners and their market strength both to Australia and in the United States brings great value to our guests. We look forward to innovating together on behalf of our guests to ensure they have the very best travel experiences to over 90 destinations in the US.

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

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said: “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,” said Mr Kirby.

“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,” he said.

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

United Airlines have been a long-term leader in sustainable aviation, and just last week operated the world’s first commercial passenger flight using 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) which was a turning point in the industry’s effort to combat climate change.

The partnership is another significant customer enhancement for the relaunched Virgin Australia, that will also see the airline resume the sale of codeshare flights at, starting with United services in early 2022, followed by the airline’s other international partners. Virgin Australia first paused the sale of codeshare flights on its website at the height of the pandemic, and today’s announcement will open a new gateway for travel between Australia and the United States and beyond.

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