Alliances are not a matter of choice but a matter of need for airlines in Australia for a network that extends their own and gets them to serve flyers who want to travel all over the place. In the case of Qantas, they have the oneworld allliance by their side.
But considering Virgin does not like getting into alliances, or at least not just yet, they have been working with an interlining strategy so far where they have a network of partners such as Etihad, Delta and Virgin Atlantic to complete their network.However, they now have an alliance with Singapore Airlines, which should be a gamechanger in feeding traffic to their domestic network from the hub of SIN.
The alliance, which was in the works for a while, received the final approval from Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission earlier this month, and was already approved by Competition Commission of Singapore in October 2011.
The new alliance allows SingAir and Virgin Australia to offer reciprocal frequent flyer benefits to each other’s frequent flyers, and codeshare to start with. With effect from 20th December, the carriers are going to roll out the FF benefits to each other’s programs, and in early 2012, they will start codesharing, including Singapore Airline’s Silk Air flights.
What can you expect if you are a Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer member, or a Virgin Velocity Rewards member after 20th December? Have a look here:
- Velocity Platinum and Gold members receive complimentary entry into Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris Lounge, at airports worldwide. KrisFlyer Elite Gold members and PPS Club members receive complimentary entry to the Virgin Australia lounge, at airports in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra. This includes the privilege to bring a guest along.
- Velocity members will be able to earn and redeem Velocity Points when travelling on eligible Singapore Airlines services. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer members will be able to earn and redeem points when travelling on eligible Virgin Australia services. The airlines clarify these are status credits and not just point credits. So flights on the other carrier should count into your qualifying criteria for the FFP also.
Also, SilkAir is launching a flight to Darwin from Singapore with effect from March 2012, which will be backed up by a Darwin Sydney service early 2012.
Time to whip out my Virgin Australia membership card and see where all in Australia can I go the next year.