Members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity frequent flyer program can now earn points and status credits for intra-Europe flights as a result of an expanded partnership with Italian flag carrier Alitalia.
While Velocity does have an existing partnership with Germany’s airberlin, its six million members could only earn points, and not status credits, on airberlin operated and marketed flights within Europe, leaving the continent a bit of a blackspot for the program.
However, that gap now been filled with Velocity members able to earn points and status credits on all Alitalia-operated flights, not just within Europe but also the airline’s services to the Americas, the Middle East and elsewhere.
Further, premium members of Virgin’s frequent flyer program will also receive benefits such as priority boarding, extra luggage allowance and access to Alitalia’s 10 premium lounges.
And both Velocity and MilleMiglia members can use points to redeem flights on both airlines’ networks.
The expanded partnership between Alitalia and Virgin announced on Friday – which also covers Alitalia’s MilleMiglia members earning points on all Virgin-operated services – follows a codesharing arrangement that was unveiled in April.
The Alitalia partnership adds to existing major alliances with the likes of Delta Air Lines for flights in the Americas, Singapore Airlines/Silkair throughout Asia, Etihad Airways for the Middle East and North Africa, and Air New Zealand for the Tasman, in addition to services out of Australia.
There are also tie-ups with the likes of Hawaiian Airlines and South African Airways.
Velocity Frequent Flyer chief executive Karl Schuster talked up the reciprocal lounge access component of the Alitalia partnership.
“To be able to access 10 of Alitalia’s premium lounges located across Italy and in New York will provide a more seamless and enjoyable travel experience for Velocity Platinum and Gold members,” Schuster said in a statement.
“We look forward to welcoming eligible members of MilleMiglia into Virgin Australia’s 12 stunning lounges across Australia. We are committed to rewarding our members in innovative ways and giving them more options to explore our growing international network.”
Alitalia recently ended a frequent flyer arrangement with Qantas.