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Virgin Atlantic announces trio of new codeshares and returns to Israel 

Virgin Atlantic has announced a trio of new codeshare partnerships to increase connectivity across its route network as well as the return of its direct London to Tel Aviv services.  

The airline will return to Tel Aviv on September 5, 2024, for the first time since October 11, 2023, when flights were suspended following the attacks on Israel by Hamas fighters.  

Flights will operate daily using the airline’s Airbus A330 fleet. The carrier originally began services from London-Heathrow (LHR) to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in September 2019.  Passengers originating in Tel Aviv will be able to connect via Heathrow 14 US destinations, on 33 daily flights, operated by Virgin Atlantic and its SkyTeam partner Delta Air Lines.  

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Additionally, a new bilateral codeshare agreement with Israeli national carrier El Al has been announced to accompany the route re-launch. The two airlines will place codes on their respective London-Heathrow to Tel Aviv services, allowing customers from both carriers greater frequencies on the route with up to four daily flights.  

The reciprocal partnership will also offer earning and redemption opportunities to frequent flyers of both airlines, as well as premium customer recognition and tier benefits for frequent flyers in both Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Flying Club’ and El Al’s ‘Matmid’ program.  

In addition to the deal with El Al, a new codeshare with fellow SkyTeam member Saudia has also been launched, in a move that will provide better connectivity between Saudi Arabia and Virgin Atlantic destinations.  

The first phase of the agreement, which is already live, means Virgin Atlantic customers traveling on flights from the US can purchase seamless onward connections through London-Heathrow and Manchester Airports (MAN) onto Saudia’s regular services to Jeddah (JED) and Riyadh (RUH) airports. 

 

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When SAS completes its transition from Star Alliance to SkyTeam in September 2024, a process that is currently underway, the carrier already has agreed in principle the terms on which it will partner with Virgin Atlantic. According to a statement from the latter, Virgin Atlantic and SAS Scandinavian Airlines are “working towards new commercial partnerships with the best access to and from Scandinavian key hubs”, including a new codeshare deal. 

The collaboration between the partners aims to offer customers from both carriers accessibility to new destinations, enhanced connectivity, and seamless journey experiences. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members will also receive instant earning and redeeming opportunities once SAS formally joins SkyTeam on September 1, 2024. Equally, SAS EuroBonus members will be able to earn and redeem their points on Virgin Atlantic. 

“As we celebrate our 40th anniversary this month, we know that giving our customers more choice and award-winning service in the skies is what fuels our success, alongside working with the best partners,” said Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic “We’re delighted to launch codeshares with our SkyTeam partners at SAS and Saudia, enhancing our connectivity and offering greater customer benefits to our frequent flyers, who will be able to achieve rewards faster.   

“Our return to Tel Aviv on September 5, 2024, will be welcome news for customers who have enjoyed our service since 2019, and this time round it’ll be strengthened by our new codeshare partnership with EL AL,” he added. 

The post Virgin Atlantic announces trio of new codeshares and returns to Israel  appeared first on AeroTime.

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