Virgin Australia inks alliance with Qatar Airways

New style codeshare arrangement slated to commence later this year

Virgin Australia has struck a new alliance and codeshare arrangement with Qatar Airways that will see a significant expansion of the airlines’ networks, lounges and loyalty programs.

The “strategic partnership” is earmarked to commence later this year, enabling travellers increased access, “unparalleled customer experience and unique benefits when travelling between Australia and Qatar Airways’ global network, with convenient transit options across Qatar Airways’ Australian gateways and key Virgin Australia hubs, including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth”.

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Virgin Australia and Qatar Airwasys say their new venture will provide “a critical trade and tourism boost for Australia, while opening a world of new travel opportunities for both airline’s customers.”

Last week LATTE revealed Virgin Australia was introducing a new type of alliance with what it dubs “Partner Airlines”, the first of which since its restructure under Bain Capital is with United.

Qatar Airways currently operates daily flights into Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth as well as three weekly flights into Adelaide continuing into Auckland, New Zealand. The codeshare agreement will enable Qatar Airways’ passengers to travel seamlessly to 35 destinations on Virgin Australia’s extensive domestic network on a single booking.

QR’s passengers will also have access to Virgin Australia’s recently relaunched short-haul international markets, including Fiji and Queenstown, New Zealand. Similarly, Virgin Australia customers and members of the airline’s Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty program, will be able to directly access Qatar Airways’ route network of over 140 worldwide destinations, including the Middle East, Europe and Africa, via Hamad International in Doha.

For Virgin Australia guests, access to Qatar Airways’ extensive network provides one-stop connectivity to a wide range of destinations and the ability to book Qatar Airways flights through the Virgin Australia website. Qatar Airways serves 54 cities in Europe with over 600 flights per week, offering a huge range of new choices for Virgin Australia customers. Likewise, Qatar Airways passengers can book flights on the Virgin Australia network through

The strategic partnership will also include reciprocal loyalty benefits allowing Qatar Airways Privilege Club members to earn and redeem Avios when flying on Virgin Australia, with similar benefits for Velocity members when travelling on Qatar Airways’ services. Privilege Club and Velocity members will also enjoy a wide range of other unique benefits, depending on status tier, which may include complimentary lounge access, complimentary extra baggage allowance, priority check-in, priority boarding and priority baggage delivery when flying respectively on Virgin Australia and Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club recently enhanced its program through its partnership with Avios, significantly expanding accrual and redemption opportunities for its members.

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, said: “We have a strong, long-standing relationship with Australia and this agreement with Virgin Australia comes at a time when it is needed the most.

“This partnership will give Australian passengers access to the world that they have so acutely missed these past two years, to be able to reconnect with family and friends, and keep the wheels of trade moving,” Al Baker said.

“We hope many of them will stopover in Doha to enjoy the wonderful tourism industry that Qatar has to offer. For those travelling farther afield, they will benefit from the award-winning facilities of our hub, Hamad International Airport, enabling their onward journey. It also opens up the beautiful, cosmopolitan nation of Australia to our passengers flying in on Qatar Airways flights, after such a long, difficult time.”

Jayne Hrdlicka, Virgin Australia Group Chief Executive Officer said this announcement was “more great news” for the airline and Velocity members hungry to travel abroad.

“We are incredibly focused on creating great travel experiences and our new partnership with Qatar Airways will significantly expand Virgin Australia’s footprint into the Middle East, Europe and Africa, offering hundreds more ways our guests can seamlessly see the world.

“Virgin Australia and Qatar Airways are both known for their award-winning service and joining forces means that together we can provide an incredible experience when travelling between Australia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and beyond. We are proud to have Qatar Airways join the Virgin Australia family and we look forward to welcoming their guests onboard Virgin Australia services later this year,” Hrdlicka noted.

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