Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines began interlining flights and offering reciprocal lounge access from today under the first stage of their alliance partnership.
Under the initial agreement, SIA passengers can now connect to Virgin Australia destinations on one ticket, which includes terminal transfers, inflight entertainment and meals onboard. Reciprocal lounge access is also available for eligible frequent flyers travelling on either airline, providing access to Virgin Australia’s six domestic lounges and SIA’s 14 lounges worldwide.
“Today’s interline agreement will make it easier for Singapore Airlines’ customers from all over the world to travel through to a range of domestic and regional destinations around Australia,” Virgin Australia Group executive Merren McArthur said.
The ACCC is currently considering Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia’s application for a more detailed commercial alliance which would include codesharing, reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, coordinated scheduling and joint sales and marketing activities.
“Should our proposed alliance receive regulatory approval, we will expand our cooperation to better promote these Australian destinations to a whole range of additional cities throughout Asia,” McArthur said.
“By working closely with Singapore Airlines, we will be able to offer a deep and integrated alliance that ultimately benefits the travelling public. Guests will enjoy an expanded network of destinations, seamless connections, a more convenient flight schedule and more opportunities to earn frequent flyer points and access lounges.”
Meanwhile Fairfax Media has reported that Qantas won’t oppose the Virgin Australian-Singapore Airlines tie-up, noting in its submission to the ACCC over the alliance that “Unsubsidised end-of route operators are particularly disadvantaged.”
Qantas has flagged closer arrangements with its own alliance partners as part of its restructure of Qantas International operations, due to be announced on August 24.