Virgin Australia and HNA Group member airline Hong Kong Airlines have announced a new codeshare agreement covering 11 destinations across the two airlines’ networks, just days after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission granted draft approval for the proposed alliance between Virgin Australia and HNA Group.
The new codesharing arrangement will commence from July 5 when Hong Kong Airlines begins codesharing on Virgin Australia’s new five times weekly Melbourne-Hong Kong services. The Hong Kong-based airline will also codeshare on selected Virgin Australia trans-Tasman and domestic Australia services, while Virgin Australia will codeshare on Hong Kong Airlines’ five return services per week between Hong Kong and the Gold Coast and Cairns.
As bilateral restrictions prevent codesharing between Hong Kong and mainland China, Virgin will offer interline connections from Hong Kong into mainland China.
“The alliance with Virgin Australia is one of the major steps of Hong Kong Airlines’ globalisation strategy in turning ourselves from a regional airline to an international carrier,” Zhang Kui, co-chairman of Hong Kong Airlines said in a statement issued during the 2017 IATA AGM at Cancun, Mexico.
“Following our launch of Gold Coast and Cairns routes in Australia, Auckland in New Zealand and Vancouver in Canada, we strive to expand our network coverage to a wider region and strengthen our overall competitive edge in the Oceania and the North America region, for the benefits of our customers who are looking for more travel options and seamless connectivity.”
As well as Melbourne-Hong Kong, Hong Kong Airlines will codeshare on the following Virgin Australia flights:
Melbourne to Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Perth, Sydney, Gold Coast and
Sydney and the Gold Coast and Cairns;
The two airlines will begin selling codeshare and interline services on each others’ flights from late June.
“We are delighted to announce this codeshare agreement as part of the first phase of our strategic alliance with Hong Kong Airlines, HK Express and HNA Aviation,” John Thomas, Group Executive, Virgin Australia Airlines, said.
“Trade and tourism are important connections between Australia and Hong Kong and mainland China. Virgin Australia is excited to facilitate further growth in these connections by offering seamless travel between Hong Kong, mainland China and Australia.”