United Airlines and Virgin Australia Group have formed a new
partnership, set to roll out in early 2022 pending government approval,
the airlines announced last week. Virgin Australia previously had
partnered with Delta Air Lines for US connectivity.
Benefits of the United-Virgin partnership, according to the carriers,
would include codeshare flights and more one-stop connections to cities
in the US, Australia, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. The
carriers also cited the ability for Mileage Plus and Velocity Frequent
Flyer loyalty members to earn and redeem points or miles on each
carriers' flights and reciprocal lounge access.
United currently offers daily direct flights from San Francisco and
Los Angeles to Sydney, while other services, such as flights from
Houston and direct service to Melbourne, are expected to resume later in
2022. Under the new partnership, United customers would have access to
additional destinations, including Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide,
according to United. The partnership would triple the number of US
cities Virgin Australia customers can reach, according to the Australian
The partnership would also mark the resumption of codeshare flights
for Virgin Australia, which first paused them at the height of the
pandemic. The carrier went into voluntary administration (similar to
bankruptcy protection) on 21 April, 2020. It subsequently was purchased
by Bain Capital and exited the voluntary administration on 17 November,
2020, under new CEO Jayne Hrdlicka.
Source: Business Travel News