Virgin Australia has announced a new codeshare agreement with Australian regional carrier Link Airways. The codeshare will expand Virgin’s presence in smaller regional markets allowing customers to connect easily to the airline’s trunk networks from Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL), Brisbane (BNE), and Canberra (CBR).
More than 90 services per week are to be operated by Link Airways, with Virgin Australia codesharing on these services under the terms of the agreement. The codeshare will increase Virgin Australia’s footprint in regional Australia starting in March 2024, by approximately 45%.
17 new regional codeshare services will be operated by Link Airways, the equivalent of 90 flights per week in conjunction with Virgin Australia. Flights go on sale on January 18, 2024, through travel agents and will be available to book directly on the Virgin Australia website from March.
Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer members will be able to earn both points and status credits on the 17 new regional codeshare services. Eligible Velocity members can also access Virgin Australia lounges when traveling on these Virgin Australia codeshare services.
Through the new agreement, Virgin Australia customers will be able to travel seamlessly to 42 Australian destinations on a single booking, with through check-in and baggage transfer included as part of their ticket.
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“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,” said Virgin Australia Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Alistair Hartley:
“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,” he added.
“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,” said Andrew Major, Link Airways’ CEO. “Benefits will include better connectivity and more choice for regional customers thanks to Virgin Australia’s expansive route network.”
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Link Airways operates a fleet of 14 Saab SF340 turboprop aircraft with an average age of 26.8 years. Each aircraft seats 34 passengers in a single-class configuration and all Link Airways passengers receive complimentary tea, coffee, and water on all flights.
Virgin Australia currently has a fleet of 87 Boeing 737s made up of nine 737-700s, 75 737-800s, and three 737 MAX 8s, with five more on order.
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