We have today announced with our alliance partner Singapore Airlines, the first two milestones of our recently approved alliance: new international and domestic routes to Darwin and the launch of frequent flyer programme co-operation.
As part of a joint plan to increase services to northern Australia, Singapore Airlines’ regional full service airline, SilkAir will begin a four-times-weekly service between Singapore and Darwin from 26 March 2012, and Virgin Australia will complement these services with a daily service between Sydney and Darwin from 2 April 2012.
We have also confirmed that from 20 December this year, we will commence reciprocal frequent flyer recognition, enabling KrisFlyer members to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on Virgin Australia’s network and Velocity members will be able to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on Singapore Airlines operated flights. Reciprocal lounge access is also available for eligible customers.
Singapore Airlines Executive Vice President Commercial and SilkAir Chairman, Mr Mak Swee Wah, said: “We are delighted to be adding Darwin to our network and providing more travel options for our customers as a result of our alliance with Virgin Australia. Our partnership enables us to better service this important market, particularly with the introduction of a strong business class product and extensive international connections.
Silk Air A320 (M Radzi Desa-airliners.net)
“The launch of reciprocal frequent flyer programme ties will also be particularly exciting news for our loyal customers. Our partnership with Virgin Australia will be delivering tangible benefits to customers, with more choice for domestic and international travel combined with seamless service.”
Virgin Australia Group Executive of Alliances, Network & Yield Management, Ms Merren McArthur said: “The alliance with Singapore Airlines enables us to open up important new routes in Australia and Asia and we have moved quickly to identify and realise this opportunity with our new partner”.
“Darwin is the gateway to the Northern Territory’s popular tourist destinations and is an increasingly important commercial hub. Together with Singapore Airlines we will be able to offer visitors from Singapore, Asia and Europe the opportunity to visit the Northern Territory and then travel onto Sydney and the East Coast of Australia. Our services will also be attractive to business travelers who now have the option of a quality business class service from Sydney to Darwin and on to Singapore and beyond.”
“From next week, Virgin Australia customers will be able to enjoy the first benefits of the alliance, with the ability to earn and burn frequent flyer points and status credits on Singapore Airlines’ network of destinations and access over 14 lounges around the world. We look forward to bringing our customers further exciting benefits as the alliance develops,”, Ms McArthur said.
We can also announce that we will open a lounge at Darwin Airport for our eligible Virgin Australia guests as well as those of its alliance partners.
We expect to commence codesharing on each other’s services from early 2012.
Do you have travel to Singapore planned in 2012? Will this new news change how you book your flights?
Today we have officially launched our international airlines V Australia and Pacific Blue under our new brand, Virgin Australia.
The establishment of one brand and identity for Virgin Australia’s domestic and international operations means that from today, travellers will experience:
• New Virgin Australia signage at key international ports
• New-look travel documents
• One Guest Contact Centre number for both the domestic and international operations
• One consolidated Virgin Australia website for both the domestic and international operations.
We have also today unveiled a new brand and livery for our joint venture with the Government of Samoa, Polynesian Blue. The Prime Minister of Samoa, the Hon. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, announced that the country’s national airline will now operate as Virgin Samoa (information of the launch can be found here).
Virgin Australia group of airlines CEO John Borghetti said that having both the domestic and international airlines operating under the Virgin brand was one of the company’s most significant achievements this year.
“The Virgin Australia name enables us to tap into the huge power of the Virgin brand around the world – a brand that signifies style, innovation, quality, value for money and the best service. “The new identity has been designed with a clean and contemporary look and feel that encapsulates our company’s repositioning as the airline of choice for all market segments. “Now that our international airlines are all operating under the Virgin brand, our focus is on redesigning the product in the air to ensure a first-rate travel experience across all of our airlines. We look forward to revealing the new designs in the first half of 2012”, Mr Borghetti said.
Should you be travelling through the transition period, Virgin Australia will be implementing directional signage and putting on extra Ground Crew to assist you. There will not be any changes to guest travel bookings as a result of the launch of these new brands.
Which part of the re-branding of our airline has impressed you the most?
The Government of Samoa and joint venture partner, Virgin Australia group of airlines, today unveiled a new brand and livery for the country’s national airline – Virgin Samoa.
The Hon. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa, said: “Our vision when entering our Polynesian Blue joint venture in 2005 was to create a national airline that would be financially strong and that would provide growth opportunities and financial stability for our country. We have achieved these goals.”
“Today our vision is to bring a new level of service and style to our guests as we partner in the evolution of Virgin Australia. This name and branding provides a new level of professionalism for our national airline; a new style; of which the people of Samoa can be proud.”
New Virgin Samoa Boeing 737 livery
Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Samoa (formerly Polynesian Blue), Mark Pitt, said the new brand and aircraft livery delivers a fresh, contemporary and sophisticated look, consistent with its partner Virgin Australia but with a uniquely Samoan flavour; featuring elements such as a palm tree motif on the fuselage; the words “airline of Samoa” under the window line near the front doors; and a specially designed tatau pattern on the engines.
“Samoan master tattooist, Tuifa’asisina Tulouena Sua, originally developed this unique design to represent the coming together of Polynesian Airlines and Virgin Australia to form Polynesian Blue. As we now move into an even brighter future together as Virgin Samoa we felt it important to include a respectful reference to our culture and our past,” Mr Pitt said.
Engine featuring the Virgin Samoa tatau
“I am confident our new brand, working with the strength of our airline partners, will significantly raise our profile with travellers all over the world; and that over time this will contribute to growth in passenger volume. The significance of this change cannot be understated in terms of the lift it will give to the airline’s future.”
“More importantly, the new Virgin Samoa name and aircraft livery will increase the airline’s visibility in the eyes of local Samoans and those living abroad, as Samoa’s national flag carrier.”
Virgin Samoa’s aircraft, named Tapu’itea, will enter into service in its new livery and with an upgraded interior the first quarter of the 2012 calendar year.
The launch of the Virgin Samoa brand comes at the same time as the airlines formerly known as Pacific Blue and V Australia adopt the Virgin Australia brand; merging what was three separate airline brands into a single consistent identity as Virgin Australia.
Today has seen our proposed alliance with Singapore Airlines been granted final ACCC approval.
This represents the final regulatory approval needed for the airlines to proceed with a wide-ranging alliance. This includes providing guests with an expanded network of destinations, seamless connections, a more convenient flight schedule and more opportunities to earn frequent flyer points and access lounges.
Virgin Australia group of airlines CEO John Borghetti said:
“This is excellent news for Australian travellers as it provides our guests with access to around 70 additional destinations across Asia, India and Africa, with one of the best airlines in the world. “The alliance will also be positive for tourism in Australia, as it will enable us to provide Singapore Airlines’ customers with seamless travel through to over 30 destinations around Australia and we will jointly promote these destinations”, Mr Borghetti said.
By the end of the year Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines will launch reciprocal frequent flyer benefits. Velocity Frequent Flyer members will be able to earn and redeem Frequent Flyer Points and Status Credits on Singapore Airlines operated flights. We expect to launch the reciprocal codeshare early next year.
Virgin Australia will now be able to offer global flight coverage through alliances with Etihad Airways, Air New Zealand, Delta Air Lines and Singapore Airlines, increasing its international reach from around 60 destinations to over 400 destinations worldwide.
Does this finalised news or the Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines alliance excite you as a frequent flyer? Will you be taking advantage of the combined benefits?
Virgin Australia and Westfield today launched an Australian first partnership that will enable Members of Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Points online with Australia’s largest shopping centre group, creating the widest retail offering of any frequent flyer program in Australia.
With Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer program, which is free to join, Members can earn and redeem Points online at westfield.com.au, which provides access to over 160 stores and 3,000 brands from Australia’s leading designers to high street stores. With over 10,000 items on sale every day and free shipping on all fashion and accessories1, Members of Velocity Frequent Flyer Members will experience excellent value when shopping on westfield.com.au.
The Westfield Online and Velocity Frequent Flyer partnership is excellent news for shoppers in the lead up to the festive season, allowing Members to redeem Velocity Points for Christmas presents or shop the Boxing Day sales at all stores on westfield.com.au including retailers such as Glue Store, Jeanswest, Saba, Sheike, Peep Toe, Novo, JB Hi-Fi, Teds Cameras, Napoleon Perdis, Ben Sherman, Supre and Charlie Brown. Recently westfield.com.au also introduced The Designer Collection featuring curated collections in “pop-up” boutiques from leading Australian designer brands including Sass & Bide, Ksubi, Ginger & Smart, Leona Edmiston, Little Joe, Farage, Thurley, Lisa Ho, Dion Lee, Alex Perry and Ellery.
Velocity Frequent Flyer members will earn 2 Velocity Points per dollar spent on westfield.com.au and to celebrate the launch of the new partnership, they will earn 4 Points per dollar spent until 31 December 2011.
For more information on this partnership visit this link. If you aren’t yet a member of Velocity frequent Flyer, it is free to join, visit the website here. To become a member of Westfield, visit their website here.
Does the idea of being rewarded with points when you are shopping, excite you to join and try?
An eagle-eyed Virgin Australia follower has picked up that the recent construction at the Gold Coast (OOL) Airport is for our new Lounge!
Announced earlier this year, the Lounge will join a list that includes the recently redesigned and renovated Melbourne and Brisbane Lounges, as well as Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, and Canberra.
Designed by renowned architect Tim Greer of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, the Lounge will be a key tool to providing an improved experience for those Guests visiting an important tourism destination such as the Gold Coast.
Gold Coast Lounge
The Lounge will be completed in 2012.
Are you excited by this addition to our Lounge network? Will you make good use of the Lounge?
Mackay’s newest sporting and entertainment venue will now carry the name Virgin Australia Stadium Mackay, following our three-year naming rights sponsorship announcement.
As part of our commitment to the area, we will also be opening a new Lounge and offering Business Class services before the end of 2011.
The new 260m² Mackay Lounge will offer:
· lounge seating for up to 70 Guests
· Premium Luke Mangan designed refreshments
· A premium selection of beverages
· Business services including complimentary WiFi, power, PC and printer
· Entertainment and relaxation with newspapers, premium magazine titles and a Panasonic high definition flat screen television featuring FOXTEL and free-to-air programming.
Our new Virgin Australia Lounge experience is a stylish yet practical space in which to work, socialise or unwind in comfort prior to your Virgin Australia flight departure from selected domestic airports.
Offering a great selection of complimentary benefits including a new Luke Mangan designed buffet menu and premium wines, business services, news, and entertainment, the Virgin Australia Lounge is your airport haven.
We’ve just been released a new TV commercial to promote the Lounge (see below).
The new Brisbane Domestic Lounge opened last week (27th July), joining the flagship Melbourne Lounge as both being recently renovated by renowned architect Tim Greer of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer. – see the photos here
To find out more, including entry rates or how to join visit the website here
Have you already experienced either of these two fantastic spaces prior to your flight? Favourite part? Any tips for your fellow travellers when using them?
Today we have announced the first routes for our new ATR aircraft, under the regional alliance with Skywest (subject to regulatory approval).
From October 2011 we will commence new services from Brisbane to Gladstone (double daily service) and Brisbane to Port Macquarie (daily return service) plus add extra services between Canberra and Sydney, bringing the total number of flights between the two cities to 60 each week.