Virgin Australia says it will have a million reward seats on offer as it resumes its international strategy to allow Velocity frequent flyer members to “earn and burn” points on seven overseas airlines.
Velocity members wanting to use points accumulated during the pandemic on an overseas jaunt will ultimately be able to choose from partners Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and South African Airways.
The airline said a network of hundreds of international destinations would go live in stages as restrictions eased and international travel resumed in what it described as the first tranche of post-lockdown deals.
Starting 11:59 pm on November 1, Velocity members will be able to redeem their points for reward seats and earn points on status credits on eligible regular fares on selected flights with Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and South African Airways.
A caveat is travel dates will vary for each carrier and reward seat. Virgin also noted that route availability was expected to grow in line with international travel demand returning to the market.
The Australian carrier said Singapore Airlines would be next to offer reward seats as the airline expands its network and services to and from Australia. Meanwhile, Velocity members would continue to earn Points and status credits when traveling on eligible revenue bookings made with the carrier.
More partnerships and more destinations will be revealed in the coming months, it added.
Not available at this stage is the codeshare partnership with All Nippon Airways, which remains paused.
It said the deals with partner airlines would mean it would have about a million reward seats available across its domestic and international network.
Virgin is also heading overseas itself with international flights to Fiji from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane resuming on December 16 with Sydney-Nadi. Bali, Queenstown and other destinations are expected to follow.
“I am thrilled to offer customers an extended network to hundreds of destinations across the world,” Velocity chief executive Nick Rohrlach in his first significant announcement.
“Virgin Australia will always have a strong core of its own international flights and then through Velocity will partner with leading airlines to offer an enviable network to travel-hungry Australians.
After being grounded for so long, many of us can’t wait to reunite with family and friends and experience new places – now Velocity Points will once again make it possible.
“Virgin Australia and its airline partners are determined to offer some of the best value fares on the market as we do our part to rebuild the travel industry and the millions of jobs it supports globally.
“As we rebuild and reopen, we look forward to offering even more opportunities to earn and redeem Points for our savvy members.”
Velocity is also offering a bonus in November of up to 30 percent to members who transfer points across from selected credit card partners.