Qatar Airways and Virgin Australia have today unveiled a new strategic partnership that will significantly expand both airlines’ networks, lounges and loyalty programmes. The announcement was made at the Arabian Travel Market which is going on in Dubai right now.
The partnership, commencing mid-year, will give travellers greater access and benefits when travelling between Australia and Qatar Airways’ network, with convenient transit options across Qatar Airways’ Australian gateways and key Virgin Australia hubs, including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide. The Doha-based airline says that the strategic alliance will provide a critical trade and tourism boost for Australia.
Presently, Qatar Airways operates daily flights from Doha to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and 3-weekly flights to Adelaide which continue on to Auckland, New Zealand. Thanks to the new codeshare agreement, Qatar Airways’ passengers will be able to travel easily to 35 destinations on Virgin Australia’s extensive domestic network, including key popular Australian tourist destinations, including Cairns, Gold Coast, Alice Springs and Broome, on a single booking. Qatar Airways’ passengers will also have access to Virgin Australia’s recently relaunched short-haul international markets, including Fiji and Queenstown, New Zealand.
Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways, said:
We have a strong, long-standing relationship with Australia and this agreement with Virgin Australia comes at a time when it is needed the most. This partnership will give Australian passengers access to the world that they have so acutely missed these past two years, to be able to reconnect with family and friends, and keep the wheels of trade moving. We hope many of them will stopover in Doha to enjoy the wonderful tourism industry that Qatar has to offer. For those travelling farther afield, they will benefit from the award-winning facilities of our hub, Hamad International Airport, enabling their onward journey. It also opens up the beautiful, cosmopolitan nation of Australia to our passengers flying in on Qatar Airways flights, after such a long, difficult time.
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On the other hand, Virgin Australia passengers and members of the airline’s Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty program, will be able to directly access Qatar Airways’ route network of over 140 worldwide destinations, including the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
For Virgin Australia passengers , access to Qatar Airways’ extensive network provides one-stop connectivity to a wide range of destinations and the ability to book Qatar Airways flights through the Virgin Australia website. Qatar Airways serves 54 cities in Europe with over 600 flights-a-week. Likewise, Qatar Airways passengers can book flights through into the Virgin Australia network through http://www.qatarairways.com.
Jayne Hrdlicka, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Australia Group, said:
Today is more great news for Virgin Australia and Velocity Frequent Flyer members who are hungry to travel internationally. We are incredibly focused on creating great travel experiences and our new partnership with Qatar Airways will significantly expand Virgin Australia’s footprint into the Middle East, Europe and Africa, offering hundreds more ways our guests can seamlessly see the world. Virgin Australia and Qatar Airways are both known for their award-winning service and joining forces means that together we are able to provide an incredible experience when travelling between Australia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and beyond. Qatar Airways has been a very important partner to Australia during the pandemic, maintaining vital connectivity to the world in difficult circumstances. We are proud to have Qatar Airways join the Virgin Australia family and we look forward to welcoming their guests onboard Virgin Australia services mid-year.
The strategic partnership will also include reciprocal loyalty benefits allowing Qatar Airways Privilege Club members to earn and redeem Avios when flying on Virgin Australia, with similar benefits for Velocity members when travelling on Qatar Airways’ services. Privilege Club and Velocity members will also enjoy a wide range of other unique benefits, depending on status tier, such as complimentary lounge access, complimentary extra baggage allowance, priority check-in, priority boarding and priority baggage delivery when flying respectively on Virgin Australia and Qatar Airways.
Featured image by Qatar Airways
What do you think of Qatar Airways and Virgin Australia entering a Strategic Partnership? Let me know in the comments section below.