Aviation News

Virgin Atlantic to join the SkyTeam alliance

SkyTeam alliance, which consists of large players such as Delta Airlines, KLM & Air France, is getting a new airline: Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic to enter SkyTeam alliance

Virgin Atlantic will join the SkyTeam airline alliance in early 2023. The airline will become SkyTeam’s first and only United Kingdom-based member airline. Virgin Atlantic says that this will enhance the alliance’s transatlantic network and services to and from London Heathrow and Manchester Airport.

Once Virgin Atlantic “officially” enters SkyTeam alliance in early 2023, passengers travelling with the airline will have access of 1000+ destinations across the globe. They’ll also have more opportunities to earn and redeem points across member airlines and access to a network of 750+ airport lounges, spanning 6 continents.

At Virgin Atlantic we strive to create thoughtful experiences that feel different for our customers and SkyTeam shares that customer first ethos. 2022 marks the year Virgin Atlantic gets back to its best for our customers and people and joining SkyTeam is an important milestone. Our membership will allow us to enhance established relationships with our valued partners at Delta and Air France-KLM, as well as opening up opportunities to collaborate with new airlines. It will enable a seamless customer experience, with an expanded network and maximised loyalty benefits.

said Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic.

The London Heathrow-based airline adds that its Flying Club members will enjoy significant benefits from the day of joining, with a global expansion of its loyalty offering. Virgin Atlantic Silver Card holders will be recognised as SkyTeam Elite Members, whilst the airline’s Gold Card members will become Elite Plus. This recognition provides a raft of benefits, including priority check in, baggage handling and boarding. Flying Club members will be able to take advantage of the benefits as soon as Virgin Atlantic officially enrols in SkyTeam, which is expected in early 2023.

Virgin Atlantic is synonymous with innovation and excellent service, an iconic British airline with a global outlook that puts customers at the heart of its operations – like SkyTeam and its members – and we are delighted to welcome them into our alliance.

said Walter Cho, Chairman, SkyTeam.

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As a member of SkyTeam, Virgin Atlantic will benefit from increased opportunities to expand its global network through partnerships and synergies: customers will have more ways to earn and burn miles while enjoying the service for which Virgin Atlantic is renowned. Virgin Atlantic shares SkyTeam’s values, caring for our customers, our employees, and the world in which they live, and we are excited to have them as part of the SkyTeam family.

said Kristen Colvile, CEO, SkyTeam.

Great for passengers!

The entry of Virgin Atlantic in the SkyTeam alliance is great for passengers. Passengers can go from point A to point B with multiple stops, just in one itinerary. This will open up new horizons for Virgin Atlantic too.

Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club’s Elite members will also be benefitted by this as they will be recognised as elite members when travelling in any SkyTeam alliance’s airline. Flying Club members will also be able to earn and redeem points for travel on all SkyTeam member airlines. On the other hand, members of other SkyTeam airlines’ loyalty programs will be able to earn and redeem points for travel on Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic already has a transatlantic joint venture with Delta Airlines and Air France-KLM, each of them already a member of SkyTeam alliance. All the four airlines are co-located at London Heathrow’s Terminal 3, alongside existing SkyTeam members Aeromexico and China Eastern, providing passengers with easy airside transits.

Virgin Atlantic has confirmed that more codeshare partnerships with SkyTeam airlines will be formed. Codeshare agreements are already in place with Aeromexico and Middle East Airlines.

Given that Delta owns a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic, it was obvious that SkyTeam will be the choice of alliance of Virgin Atlantic as Delta is already a member of SkyTeam.

For those of you who don’t know, SkyTeam currently has 18 member airlines. They are: Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Europe, Air France, China Airlines, China Eastern, Czech Airlines, Delta Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, ITA Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, Tarom, Vietnam Airlines and Xiamen Air.

Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic recently entered into a codeshare partnership with IndiGo.

Featured image by Virgin Atlantic

What do you think of Virgin Atlantic joining SkyTeam alliance? Let me know in the comments section below.

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