Virgin Blue came out with major piece of aviation news by announcing a partnership between V Australia, its full service international arm and Etihad Airways. It is reported that one of the major reasons behind this decision was the findings of the second stage of the network review that had been carried out by Virgin Blue. The review revealed that there was a high degree of need to overhaul V Australia’s routes.
Under the partnership, V Australia will provide direct flights to Abu Dhabi in 2011. From 1st October, 2010 the combined network of Etihad and V Australia would span over a 100 destinations. Initially, there would be 27 flights between Australia and Abu Dhabi. The agreement calls for a codeshare on every service from Abu Dhabi. All Pacific Blue, V Australia, and Virgin Blue flights will have the ‘EY’ Etihad code. Other than the code share, V Australia will operate three weekly flights from Sydney to Abu Dhabi by February 2011 as well as three flights every week from Brisbane to Abu Dhabi by February, 2012.
The numerous services of both the carriers would be integrated as well. For instance, Velocity, the frequent flyer programme of Virgin, would be merged with Etihad Airways’s Etihad Guest. This includes the merger of ground services like lounge access too. The emerging picture indicates that members of the loyalty programmes of both the carriers would get to earn and redeem miles by utilising the services of either of the airlines.
The enormity of the partnership agreement is evident from a statement by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), an aviation analyst. CAPA had issued a comment stating that this deal would prove more comprehensive for air passengers than the agreement with Qantas and British Airways on the route between Australia and London, referred to as the Kangaroo route.
Read the complete news here (Resource Southalltravel News)