The FINANCIAL — Air Canada on December 14 announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a strategic cooperation agreement with Virgin Australia, making it easier for Canadians to travel throughout Australia and New Zealand and providing Australians with more options to travel to Canada.
The first stage of the codeshare agreement is scheduled to be implemented in early 2017 when Air Canada customers will be able to book travel on a single ticket to an additional 10 cities throughout Australia and New Zealand on Virgin Australia-operated flights connecting with Air Canada’s daily year-round service to Sydney and Brisbane. Subject to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals, Air Canada will place its code on Virgin Australia flights to Adelaide, Canberra, Cairns, Melbourne and Perth as well as to Christchurch and Auckland, New Zealand. Customers will also be able to travel on Virgin Australia flights from Sydney to Brisbane, Sydney to the Gold Coast and Brisbane to Wellington, New Zealand, according to Air Canada.
When travelling on these services, members of Air Canada’s loyalty program, Aeroplan, will be eligible to earn Aeroplan Miles. Further details on the frequent flyer agreement will be released soon.
“This agreement with Virgin Australia lays the ground work for a mutually beneficial commercial cooperation that will offer Air Canada customers more travel options and frequent flyer benefits when travelling within Australia and New Zealand,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to introducing Air Canada codeshare service on Virgin Australia’s flights and welcoming Virgin Australia’s customers on our flights beginning in the near future.”
Travellers arriving in Los Angeles on Virgin Australia’s flights from Sydney and Brisbane will be able to travel on connecting Air Canada flights to Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal. When travelling on these codeshare services, eligible Virgin Australia customers will earn Velocity Points.
In a subsequent stage, the carriers plan to offer eligible customers reciprocal frequent flyer redemption benefits on each other’s flights, and Virgin Australia would place its code on Air Canada’s flights between Vancouver-Sydney and Vancouver-Brisbane.
Air Canada operates daily non-stop flights year-round from Vancouver to both Sydney and Brisbane, Australia. Flights to Sydney are operated with Boeing 777-200LR aircraft and flights to Brisbane with Boeing 787 aircraft. Air Canada operates a total of up to 18 flights per day from Los Angeles to Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.