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SINGAPORE AND SYDNEY: Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia today announced the first two milestones of their 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 20121.
The two airlines also confirmed that from 20 December this year, they would commence reciprocal frequent flyer recognition, enabling KrisFlyer members to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on Virgin Australia’s entire network and Velocity members to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on Singapore Airlines-operated flights2. 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.
“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 on to Sydney and the East Coast of Australia. Our services will also be attractive to business travellers 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 14 lounges around the world. We look forward to bringing our customers further exciting benefits as the alliance develops,” Ms McArthur said.
Virgin Australia also announced that it would open a lounge at Darwin Airport that would accommodate eligible Virgin Australia guests and those of its alliance partners.
The two airlines expect to commence codesharing on each other’s services from early 2012.
1SilkAir and Virgin Australia services both subject to Government approval
2SilkAir flights not included at present. To earn and redeem Points you must be a member of KrisFlyer or Velocity Frequent Flyer. Membership and Points earn and redemption are subject to the Member Terms and Conditions, as amended from time to time available at www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/ppsclub-krisflyer/ and www.virginaustralia.com/velocity.