Virgin America Applies For Codeshare with Virgin Australia
Virgin America, the award-winning U.S. airline, announced that it is requesting U.S. Department of Transportation approval to place the Virgin Australia code on Virgin America services from Los Angeles to Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle and Washington D.C. Once approved, this will be the first-ever codeshare agreement for the California-based carrier, building on a 2009 interline agreement with Virgin Australia that paved the way for a more seamless travel experience for guests flying between Australia and the U.S. This will offer seamless booking on a single ticket for guests traveling from Australia to multiple destinations in the U.S. Virgin America’s recent move to a new reservations system allowed the carrier to initiate this first codeshare alliance as well as significantly expand its interline partnerships in recent months.
Earlier this year, Virgin America announced an enhancement to its Elevate® frequent flyer program that allows members to earn and redeem points across the combined route network of the Virgin family of carriers. And last month, all three award-winning Virgin airlines – including Virgin Atlantic – joined forces for the first time ever to launch a joint entertainment, digital and out-of-home “Virgin Skies” advertising campaign to convey the unique Virgin in-flight experience in the Los Angeles market and mark the airlines’ global frequent flyer partnership. The centerpiece of the campaign includes the creation of an independent short film shot entirely on three commercial Virgin flights while at 35,000 feet. For more on the campaign, including behind-the-scenes footage from the filming, visit: www.flyvirgin.com/#film
The new codeshare agreement will not change the airlines’ existing interline agreement, through which guests already enjoy a seamless Virgin experience at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Under the codeshare, guests will check-in once and receive all their boarding passes. Domestic to international connections at LAX are within the same terminal (Terminal 3), so guests traveling from the U.S. to Australia do not have to re-clear security. Both airlines will transfer baggage between connecting flights and to guests’ final destinations – with customs clearance of guests and bags still required for travelers coming from Australia to the U.S.
Virgin America is a U.S.-controlled, owned and operated airline. It is an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.
Hawaiian Airlines Adds Direct Flights to Brisbane
Hawaiian Airlines will begin offering nonstop flights between Honolulu and Brisbane, Australia, three times weekly starting Tuesday, November 27, 2012, becoming the only US carrier to operate service to Brisbane. Adding Brisbane service will increase Hawaiian’s weekly flights between Honolulu and Australia to 10, with daily services already operating to Australia’s largest city, Sydney.
President and CEO Mark Dunkerley said Brisbane would serve not only as the airline’s second gateway to Australia but also as an important new source of tourism to Hawai’i.
“Australians love Hawai’i as a holiday destination, and visitor numbers have grown steadily since Hawaiian inaugurated service on the Sydney-Honolulu route in 2004,” Dunkerley said. “That service reawakened Australian awareness and interest in Hawai’i, which had been under-served for over a decade.
“Competitors followed us and now, eight years later, Hawai’i is one of the most popular and fastest growing international holiday destinations for travelers from Australia,” he said. “The Brisbane gateway will provide much easier access to Hawai’i for residents of the State of Queensland, and more convenient connections for travelers from a number of other Australian states.”
Hawaiian’s new Brisbane service will add more than 40,000 seats annually between Australia and Hawai’i, and increase its total seat numbers from Australia by 38 percent.
Centrally located on Australia’s east coast, Brisbane is the capital city of the State of Queensland, home of the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, world heritage listed rainforests, iconic outback locations and the renowned leisure regions of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
Brisbane also is a key hub for onward travel throughout Australia, and Hawaiian’s new flights will be timed to connect with same-day services throughout Queensland and to other states, through an interline partnership with domestic carrier Virgin Australia.
Ticket sales for the new service will commence at a later date to be announced.