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Velocity Frequent Flyer hits 12 million members

written by Jake Nelson | April 23, 2024

Jake Nelson shot these Virgin Australia 737-800s at Sydney Airport.

Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program has passed 12 million members.

The loyalty program, which recently announced major partnerships with energy company AGL and ridesharing app DiDi, has reached the equivalent of one member in every Australian household, Virgin says. Velocity had passed the 11-million-member milestone in December 2022.

Other Velocity partners include 7-Eleven convenience stores and Flybuys, the latter of which allows Velocity members to earn points at retailers such as Coles, Kmart, Officeworks and Bunnings.

“Velocity is on an extraordinary growth trajectory with the pipeline of new partners fuller than anyone had expected,” said Velocity Frequent Flyer CEO Nick Rohrlach.

“From a membership perspective, more than one million new members have joined in the last 12 months, 34 per cent higher than the previous year.


“We are really proud of where the program is going and the value we are unlocking for Australians to get to their next flight or reward faster.”

Velocity’s uptake is still behind its main rival, Qantas Frequent Flyer, which had 15.2 million members as at 30 June 2023, 1.1 million more than June 2022.

According to Qantas’ 2023 annual report, QFF members earned 175 billion points and spent 155 billion over the 2022–23 financial year. Similar figures were not available for Velocity.

April also marks six months since Rex launched its loyalty program, Rex Flyer, with points redemption beginning in December. Rex Flyer is the third entrant into what is often a cutthroat frequent flyer market, with Velocity and Qantas Frequent Flyer frequently attempting to outdo each other and poach members.

Virgin Australia last year attempted to entice Qantas Frequent Flyer members with a trial status-matching offer for those who have achieved gold status or above in “other Australian airline loyalty programs”.

Virgin and Qantas’ respective loyalty programs have been at war for years, with Virgin in 2022 launching a similar “Switch-a-Roo” scheme to lure the Flying Kangaroo’s frequent flyer customers over to Velocity.

At the time, Rohrlach – who had sensationally “defected” from Qantas Frequent Flyer in 2021, provoking a protracted court battle – called the scheme another example of Virgin’s “playful” nature.

“On average, one person in every Australian household now has a Velocity Frequent Flyer membership, which shows the depth, breadth, and importance of the program to Australian consumers,” he said.

The battle for frequent flyers became particularly divisive after Virgin’s collapse into administration supposedly led to 25 corporate accounts switching to the Flying Kangaroo from Virgin.

Qantas took advantage by launching multiple switching programs targeting both Virgin and Air New Zealand customers in the aftermath.

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