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Tue, 14 December 2021

United Airlines Expands Partnership with Virgin Australia

(14 Dec 2021)  United Airlines and Virgin Australia Group have signed an agreement designed to enhance the travel experience between Australia and the Americas.

The partnership will have benefits for both MileagePlus and Velocity Frequent Flyer members and create more one-stop connections to cities across the United States, Australia, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America.

Subject to government approval, the agreement is expected to come into effect in early 2022.

United Airlines Boeing 767 reg: N676UA.  Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.
United Airlines Boeing 767 reg: N676UA. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com

"The United States and Australia share a special bond and I'm especially proud that United was the only airline to maintain a vital link between these two countries throughout the pandemic," said United CEO, Scott Kirby. "Looking ahead, Virgin Australia is the perfect partner for United. Our partnership provides considerable commercial value for both airlines and a shared commitment to offer the best travel experience for our customers."

United currently offers daily direct flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney, while other services including flights from Houston and direct services to Melbourne are expected to resume later in 2022.

Under this new partnership, United's customers will have access to top Australian destinations including Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

In addition to the ability to redeem and earn points/miles, eligible premier MileagePlus and Velocity members will also receive the following benefits when flying on United and Virgin Australia worldwide:

- Priority check-in;

- Priority boarding;

- Priority baggage delivery and additional baggage check allowance;

- Priority security clearance; and

- Lounge access.

The partnership will also triple Virgin Australia's reach into the U.S., with customers accessing United's vast domestic and international network, connecting at United's multiple Australian gateways.

Virgin Australia plans to resume the sale of codeshare flights in early 2022.

"We are grateful to have such a strong partner in United," said Virgin Australia Group CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka. "They have proudly been one of Australia's most loyal and long serving aviation partners and their market strength both to Australia and in the United States brings great value to our guests. We look forward to innovating together on behalf of our guests to ensure they have the very best travel experiences to over 90 destinations in the U.S."

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