In an expansion of their existing codeshare agreements, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia have mutually agreed to cover additional cities in Australia, Asia, United Kingdom and Europe. As a part of this expansion arrangement, codesharing has been immediately extended to cover all of Virgin Australia’s domestic destinations. This is extremely good news for SIA customers, as they can now access 32 Australian cities as a part of this expansion.
In the coming months codesharing will also take within its purview trans-Tasman flights between a number of Australian and New Zealand cities. As a part of this deal SIA customers will be connected with the New Zealand cities of Dunedin, Wellington, and Queenstown, that is if everything regarding their approval process goes smoothly as expected.
Again in the first quarter of 2013, Virgin Australia will reciprocate with its current codeshare and cover the routes from the east coast of Australia to connections in Europe, the United Kingdom and several cities in Asia, via SIA’s Singapore hub. Currently the arrangement allows Virgin Australia customers to connect from only Adelaide, Perth and Darwin to Europe and United Kingdom. In total 64 destinations in Asia and 12 in Europe will be available to Virgin Australia customers via SIA and SilkAir codesharing from the Australian cities of Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Darwin.
SIA Executive Vice President Commercial, Mr. Mak Swee Wah noted, that the deepening co-operation between the two airlines is going to bring more options to customers of both the airlines. With both airlines partnering, better connections are going to be made available to customers flying in and out of Singapore and Australia.
Ms Merren McArthur, Virgin Australia Group Executive of Alliances mentioned on the event of the expansion that their customers have a strong demand for flying to European destinations from Asia. Currently Virgin Australia offers this option to customers flying from Adelaide, Perth and Darwin. This expansion will see the whole of the east coast of Australia enjoy the option to fly onwards to Europe. She also took the opportunity to welcome SIA customers to Australia and hoped this can bring a good number of customers to the domestic tourism sector.
SIA and Virgin Australia’s major partnership was forged last year. As a part of this partnership the two international airlines offer codesharing to each other along with reciprocating frequent flyer programmes, the access of lounges, inter-connected schedules and even joint sales programmes. SIA and its subsidiary SilkAir currently serves 97 destinations in 36 countries whereas Virgin Australia serves 14 countries and 49 destinations.