Virgin Australia, South African Airways Bolster Partnership

23rd Nov 2014

The two Star Alliance-member airlines have agreed to allow their respective frequent flyer members to earn points and status credits on flights that they both operated.

As a result, Virgin Australia's Velocity members can earn points when they travel on a South African Airways flight and any flights operated by SAA's partner airlines, South African Airlink and South African Express Airways.

In the same manner, SAA's Voyager elite members will earn points when they fly with Virgin Australia.

Aside from points-sharing scheme, frequent flyer members of both airlines will also be able to access their respective airport lounges, enjoy priority check-in as well as priority boarding process during their flight.

South African Airways was founded in 1934 and currently operates a fleet of 58 aircraft. It is the national flag carrier and the largest airline of South Africa with a route network of about 42 destinations across 26 countries in six continents. Popular long-haul destinations include New York, Dubai, London, Frankfurt, Sao Paolo and Perth. In addition to Hong Kong, SAA also flies to Beijing starting in 2012 as part of its expanded international route network.

Aside from Virgin Australia, SAA has 14 codeshare agreements with other carriers. Virgin Australia, meanwhile, has codeshare agreements with 13 other airlines.

Virgin Australia is Qantas' biggest headache in the continent in its domestic operations. It beat the flag carrier in their race for on-time departures for the month of October, at 88.9%, as against 88.6% for Qantas. Qantas beat Virgin Australia for on-time arrivals, though.

Qantas and South African Airways used to have codeshare agreement on particular routes between Australia and South Africa but were already severed. SAA's SA code on the Sydney-Johannesburg route was first removed and Qantas subsequently removed its own QF code on the Perth-Johannesburg route.

Virgin Australia is hopeful that its codeshare agreement with South Africa's flag carrier will fortify their partnership as fellow Star Alliance members in providing efficient service to its loyal clients.