Singapore Airlines together with Virgin Australia announced the new international and domestic routes to Darwin and the launch of the frequent flyer programme co-operation last December 13, 2011. It is considered as the first two milestone of the recently approved alliance between the two airline companies.
Part of the joint plan of the new alliance is to provide more flight services to the northern Australia. Starting on 26 March 2012, SilkAir – Singapore Airlines regional full service airline will begin a four-times- weekly service between Singapore and Darwin. Virgin Australia will be complementing these services with a daily flight between Sydney and Darwin from 02 April 2012.
The two airlines had also merged their frequent flyer recognition which started last 20 December 2011. This program will enable KrisFlyer members to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on Virgin Australia’s entire network which goes the same for the Velocity members who can earn and redeem points on Singapore Airlines operated flights. Reciprocal lounge access will also be available for eligible customers.
Singapore Airlines Executive Vice President Commercial and SilkAir Chairman, Mr Mak Swee Wah, was quoted saying: “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.
Mr Swee Mah added that the launch of the reciprocal frequent flyer ties will deliver tangible benefits to the customers of both airlines providing them more choice for domestic and international travel with excellent service.
On the other hand, Virgin Australia Group Executive of Alliances, Network & Yield Management, Ms Merren McArthur stated that their alliance with Singapore Airlines enable them to open up important new routes in Australia and Asia.
Miss McArthur said: “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.
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.
Both airlines are expecting to commence the codeshared arrangements on each others services from early 2012.
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