Virgin Blue and Skywest Airlines have signed a memorandum of understanding which will expand the relationship between the two airlines, allowing for more connections through regional WA.
The first phase of the expanded agreement will see Virgin Blue codeshare on Skywest services to Albany, Esperance, Geraldton, Exmouth, Carnarvon, Monkey Mia and Kalbarri. Skywest will also become an integrated partner in the Velocity loyalty program, while selected Skywest passengers will be able to access Virgin Blue’s Lounge at Perth Airport.
Virgin Blue CEO John Borghetti also noted that further cooperation between the two carriers was likely in the near future. “The parties will also seek to explore opportunities to coordinate schedules, develop joint marketing programs and submit joint tenders for new business opportunities, subject to obtaining any necessary regulatory approval,” he said.
It is expected that this could extend to operating joint services within WA as part of the new framework for intrastate air travel, which proposes to open some routes to more competition. Any changes are expected to take place during March 2011.