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Australia’s regional airline battle heats up



Virgin Australia and Link Airways have unveiled an extensive codeshare partnership that will significantly expand Virgin Australia’s regional presence.

Under this partnership, Link Airways will operate over 90 weekly services, with Virgin Australia codesharing on these flights.

Regional Australia will see substantial improvements as Virgin Australia and Link Airways embark on an expansive codeshare partnership, bolstering Virgin Australia’s presence in regional Australia by approximately 45 percent.

Notably, the expansion includes services to destinations like Inverell, Wollongong, and Biloela, which currently lack major airline services.

Velocity members

Velocity Frequent Flyer members will reap the benefits of this collaboration, earning both Points and Status Credits on 17 new regional codeshare services. Furthermore, this agreement opens up the possibility of seamlessly connecting regional Australia to Virgin Australia’s broader domestic network.

Customers can book these services through Virgin Australia’s travel agency partners, with fares available on from March 2024.

Codeshare services

Seventeen fresh regional codeshare services, equivalent to 90 weekly flights, will be integrated into Virgin Australia’s domestic network through the collaboration.

Velocity Frequent Flyer, boasting nearly 12 million members, stands to gain from this partnership as they will now earn both Points and Status Credits on Virgin Australia codeshare services operated by Link Airways, encompassing crucial regional centers across the nation.

For Velocity Platinum, Gold, and Silver members, additional incentives such as bonus Points and extra baggage allowances will be available when traveling on Virgin Australia codeshare services operated by Link Airways.

Eligible Velocity members can also enjoy access to Virgin Australia lounges during their travels on these codeshare services.

Virgin Australia Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Alistair Hartley said “Today’s announcement in partnership with Link Airways underscores our commitment to delivering great value, flexibility and choice to Australians, and boosting connections for customers living in regional Australia,” he said.

“Importantly the partnership is also set to support regional trade and tourism in destinations like Inverell, Wollongong and Biloela, which are not currently serviced by any other major airline.

“Together, our networks will be operating up to 365 daily flights across Australia, offering 42 domestic destinations for guests to explore, all while ensuring guests can enjoy seamless connectivity and loyalty benefits under our award-winning Velocity Frequent Flyer program when they travel.”

New regional routes available as Virgin Australia codeshare (in both directions):

Brisbane <> Coffs Harbour (BNE-CFS)

Brisbane <> Bundaberg (BNE-BDB)

Brisbane <> Biloela (BNE-ZBL)

Brisbane <> Inverell (BNE-IVR)

Brisbane <> Narrabri (BNE-NAA)

Brisbane <> Dubbo (BNE-DBO)

Brisbane <> Orange (BNE-OAG)

Brisbane <> Tamworth (BNE-TMW)

Brisbane <> Armidale (BNE-ARM)

Brisbane <> Wollongong (BNE-WOL)

Sydney <> Narrabri (SYD-NAA)

Sydney <> Inverell (BNE-IVR)

Melbourne <> Dubbo (MEL-DBO)

Melbourne <> Orange (MEL-OAG)

Melbourne <> Wollongong (MEL-WOL)

Canberra <> Hobart (CBR-HBA)

Canberra <> Newcastle (CBR-NTL)

It comes a year after 777 Partners launched Bonza in Australia, a low-cost operator focusing on regional markets.

Bonza CEO’s big plans after bumpy start for airline

Seamless travel

Virgin Australia customers will now have the convenience of traveling seamlessly to 42 Australian destinations through a single booking, complete with check-in and baggage transfer.

Link Airways Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Major said “Link Airways is very pleased to join Virgin Australia in announcing this codeshare agreement which will provide significant additional travel opportunities to passengers Australia-wide, particularly those in regional areas.

“Benefits will include better connectivity and more choice for regional customers thanks to Virgin Australia’s expansive route network,” he said.

The partnership marks a significant step forward for Virgin Australia and Link Airways, promising enhanced connectivity and convenience for travelers across Australia.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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