Virgin Australia's domestic travellers will have an easier experience at security and access to an expanded range of food and beverage
options with the opening of the redevelopment of Melbourne Airport’s Terminal 3.
The centrepiece of the upgrade is an indoor walkway linking the landside departures levels of Terminals 3 and 4, as well as the
consolidation of security screening at an expanded central location in Terminal 4.
Virgin Australia travellers will now be screened using the latest smart security technology, which allows them to keep laptops, tablets and
liquids in their bags, with an additional two lanes opened to increase processing capacity.
For the first time at Melbourne Airport the Virgin Australia lounge is located in the secure airside zone, meaning premium travellers will be able to enjoy the facilities right up until boarding time.
For more info, see the linked video from Virgin Australia... Read More…
AirlineRatings Announces 2022 World's Best Airlines Awards
The world’s Best Airlines for 2022 have been named by AirlineRatings.com, the world’s only safety, product, and COVID rating website, and
the airline of the year is … Qatar Airways.
The Doha-based airline nudged out Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways and Korean Air for the top spot in AirlineRatings.com
Best Airlines for 2022 followed by Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Virgin Australia. Taiwan’s EVA was rated 8th followed by Turkish Airlines in the 9th spot. Turkish Airlines is also named the Best Airline in Europe.
In 10th position is Japan’s All Nippon Airlines.
Qatar Airways also took out Best Business Class. “The airline’s Qsuite is a first-class experience in business class
and our judges rated it as the best overall business-class product they had seen,” said Mr Geoff Thomas of AirlineRatings.com.
As well as taking out number 2 position in the Top Twenty Airlines rankings, Air New Zealand won Best Airline in
the Pacific, Best Premium Economy, and Best Economy. The
airline has just unveiled a major make-over and new products that will be introduced in 2024, so it should continue to rank highly in years
Singapore Airlines won the prestigious Best First Class award for its unique Suites product and
also Best Lounges. The six Suites in this stylish cabin at the front of the upper deck of the airline’s flagship
Airbus A380s are designed to be the equivalent of small hotel rooms.
Virgin Australia won Best Cabin Crew and Emirates was awarded Best
Excellence in Long Haul travel was awarded to: jetBlue (Americas), Turkish Airlines (Europe), Qatar Airways
(Middle-East/Africa), Korean Air (Asia) and Air New Zealand (Pacific).
Best Low-Cost Airlines are: Southwest (Americas), easyjet (Europe), Jetstar (Asia/Pacific) and Fly Dubai (Middle-East).
Our congratulations to all the winners !
Virgin Australia Updates Awards Tables for its Partners - From October 2022
Velocity is introducing changes to the Points required for Reward Seats on Etihad Airways, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines,
Hawaiian Airlines and South African Airways for
tickets issued from 5 October 2022.
Velocity noted that the amount of Points required to redeem an Economy Class or Business Class Reward Seat will change for some routes. We
looked more closely at the changes and found that:
Points required for travel in Premium Economy or First Class were unchanged;
Points required for trips of up to 2,400 miles (one way) are unchanged for all cabin categories;
Points required for trips of more than 4,800 miles (one way) are unchanged for all cabin categories;
For trips between 2,401 and 3,600 miles, the category has been split into 2,401 to 3,000 (requiring 3,000 fewer points than
currently for Economy but 2,000 more for Business Class) and 3,001 to 3,600 (requiring 1,000 fewer points than currently
for Economy but 4,000 more for Business Class);
For trips between 3,601 and 4,800 miles, the category has been split into 3,601 to 4,200 (requiring 6,000 fewer points than
currently for Economy but 2,000 more for Business Class) and 4,201 to 4,800 (requiring 4,000 fewer points than currently
for Economy but 6,000 more for Business Class).
So, no change for travellers booking Premium Economy or First Class, but for travellers flying in Economy, the changes
will result in either the same or fewer points being required.
For Business Class travellers, the increases could be hefty – more than 14% for the new 3,001-3,600
category and more than 17% for the 4,201-4,800 mile category.
Impact on some popular routes:
Unchanged - PER-DPS, MEL-AUH, SYD-AUH
6,000 fewer points (saving 17.1%) for Economy but 2,000 (+5.7%) more for Business Class
* MEL-SGP 3,765 miles
* SYD-SGP 3,915 miles
3,000 fewer points (saving 10.7%) for Economy but 2,000 (+7.1%) more for Business Class.
* PER-SGP 2,435 miles
* LHR-AUH 2,982 miles
* MEL-DPS 2,750 miles
* SYD-DPS 2,875 miles
1,000 fewer points (saving 3.6%) for Economy but 4,000 (+14.3%) more for Business Class
* MEL-KUL 3,405 miles
* SYD-KUL 3,555 miles
for Australians vacationing in Bali, award redemptions will be the same or as much as 17% less for Economy, but Business Class will be
7% more from the east coast;
the amount of points required for flights between Abu Dhabi and Australia;
for flights between Abu Dhabi and London, flying Economy will be cheaper but Business Class will require more points than prior to
flights between Australia and Singapore will be treated more kindly than flights between Australia and Malaysia.
A carrier charge for Reward Seats on Singapore Airlines will also be introduced for tickets issued from 5 October 2022. These charges are
less than the carrier charges introduced for Etihad Airways.
Any voluntary changes (by travellers) to Reward Seats ticketed up to 4 October will, from 5 October 2022, require
cancellation and refund (if applicable) of the original ticket.
So make any changes you need to make prior to then because...
Any new Reward Seat ticketed from 5 October 2022 (including those from voluntary changes noted above) on the above mentioned airlines, will
be according to the new
Points redemption table.
The ability to transfer your Velocity Points and KrisFlyer miles between programs is due to restart on 19 July 2022!
If you are also a member of KrisFlyer, the loyalty program of Singapore Airlines, you can set up a link between your Velocity Account and
KrisFlyer Account and convert Points and Miles between both programs.
For every 1.55 KrisFlyer miles you transfer, you will earn 1 Velocity Point. A minimum transfer amount of
5,000 KrisFlyer miles is required. This is the same rate that applied just prior to the covid-19 crisis (but the minimum transfer has been
reduced from 10,000 to 5,000 KrisFlyer miles).
Note that transfers cannot be reversed once made.
You will also be able to redeem
Velocity Points for
Reward Seats in Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class on the Singapore Airlines network
(T&C's and exclusions will apply).
Great news for members of both programs, reopening opportunities that were available prior to February 2020.
It also provides an opiton for holders of larger KrisFlyer balances to "save" miles that are close to expiring, as KrisFlyer miles
have a "hard" expiry of 3 years, whereas Velocity points do not expire as long as there is some activity every 2 years. Note that
miles transferred cannot be transferred back again.Read More…
Virgin Australia Building Its Short-Haul International Routes
Virgin Australia announced this week that it is resuming more short-haul international destinations and is also planning
for further expansion of its international network later this year and in March 2023.
The carrier operated an extensive network to New Zealand before the pandemic, and intends to return to this market in November 2022
with flights to Queenstown (ZQN).
Virgin also operated long-haul international flights, primarily to the US. However, it cut all the long-haul routes when it decided to
dispose of its widebody fleet as part of its restructuring as a primarily domestic operator in 2020.
Currently, Virgin’s only current international route is between Sydney and Fiji.
However, Virgin is now resuming flights to Bali (DPS), Indonesia—an important leisure destination. Flights between Sydney (SYD) and
Bali start June 15,
and routes from Melbourne (MEL)
and Brisbane (BNE) to Bali are due to relaunch on June 17.
Virgin has scheduled a wave of short-haul international routes in March 2023. This includes a service between Bali
and Gold Coast (OOL),
Australia, which it has not operated before. The flight is set to launch on March 29, 2023. Virgin Australia said the announcement of
the Gold Coast-Bali route reflects increasing demand for flights in and out of Gold Coast, and the airline’s growing presence at the Gold
Coast airport for domestic flights. The carrier currently operates up to 180 domestic outbound flights per week from Gold Coast, and
bookings on Gold Coast flights were up by 55% in May versus 2019 levels.
Samoa (APW) and Vanuatu (VLI) will be added back to Virgin’s network during the same month. Flights from
Brisbane to Vanuatu are due to begin on March 10, from Sydney to Samoa on March 21, and Brisbane to Samoa on March 23.
For the immediate future at least, Virgin will offer long-haul connections via its international partners. It is continuing its relationship
with partners including Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, Etihad, Hawaiian Airlines and Singapore Airlines, and in May announced it will also partner with Qatar Airways. Earlier this year it also replaced Delta by United as its US partner.
(Virgin Australia is one of our advertisers and we may receive a small compensation from them)
Virgin Australia / United Airlines partnership officially launched
Virgin Australia and United Airlines celebrated their new partnership with a launch at, Sydney International Airport, yesterday.
The partnership between Virgin Australia Group and United Airlines was struck in December last year and it will triple the airline’s reach
into the Americas, with flyers able to access more destinations across the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America.
The partnership establishes code-share co-operation, as well as reciprocal loyalty benefits for Velocity Frequent Flyer members to earn,
redeem and receive tier benefits when traveling on United’s domestic and international network, connecting from the carrier’s multiple
Australian gateways, including daily direct flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney, with flights from Houston and direct
services to Melbourne expected to resume later in 2022.
The United deal which replaced the airline’s former relationship with Delta Air Lines, is critical to Virgin Australia which no longer
has its long-range capable Boeing 777s that used to ply the Pacific to the US.
The partnership is a coup for Virgin Australia as United Airlines is a dominant Pacific player and the partnership will also extend United’s
large Australian presence, as United offers more flights to Australia than any other U.S. carrier.
Virgin Australia’s CEO Ms Hrdlicka said that “Virgin Australia customers will have significantly more options for travel from Australia to
the States, with more than three times as many services available to them, which is great news for Australian travelers”.
ACCC grants interim Authorisation for Virgin Australia/United code-sharing
On May 12th, the Australian ACCC
granted authorisation for Virgin Australia
to operate a "virtual global network" of routes using partnerships with other airlines, the first of which is United Airlines, but
now subsequently Qatar Airways.
Virgin Australia intends to align with other “former and new partners” to expand its reach beyond short-haul routes, to which it is
limited due to its existing fleet of narrowbody aircraft. Virgin Australia ceased all long-haul international flights and ended its lease agreements for its wide-body fleet during the pandemic. It has recently restarted flights to Nadi, Fiji and is planning to resume
Bali, Indonesia flights in mid-June 2022.
The codesharing arrangements with United and Qatar airlines will provide Virgin Australia access to long-haul routes to Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.
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.
United Airlines is flying the SYD - LAX and SYD - SFO routes and is keen to return to the Sydney - Houston (IAH) sector later this year. It
recently confirmed the restart of its Melbourne (MEL) - San Francisco (SFO) flights from June 5, making it the only US carrier flying direct Mebourne to the US.
UA60 will take 15 hours and 45 minutes to make its way down to Melbourne, while the return flight UA61 will take 14 and a half hours to fly back to San Francisco. United is eyeing resuming the MEL - LAX flights later this year. United's 787-9 Dreamliner will operate
the Melbourne flights, which for the 48 passengers in business class will have the latest United
lie-flat Polaris seats, which considerably reduce the pain of long-haul flying.
Virgin Australia confirms start date for United Airlines partnership
Further to the announcement made on December 14th, Virgin Australia today confirmed that its new strategic frequent flyer and codeshare partnership with United Airlines will commence in two weeks on Tuesday 24 May 2022.
Velocity members will be able to earn Velocity Points and Status Credits, and eligible members will receive tier benefits when travelling with
United. Reward Seat availability is another significant benefit of the partnership, as members will be able to use Velocity Points to
redeem seats on United’s vast domestic and international network.
United offer the most flights between Australia and North America out of all US-based carriers. The partnership with United will triple
Virgin Australia's network reach into the Americas, which means that Velocity members (and other Virgin Australia customers) will have access to new destinations when flying from Australia to the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America.
Virgin Australia's surprise partnership with Qatar Airways | Velocity members easy access to Q-suites?
Virgin Australia today announced a new partnership with Qatar Airways, which will commence later this year. More details, including a
commencement date, are expected to be released soon.
Qatar Airways currently operates daily flights from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth as well as three weekly flights from Adelaide with
one-stop connectivity from these ports to over 140 worldwide destinations, including 54 cities in Europe.
Once the partnership starts, Virgin Velocity members will be able to earn Points and Status Credits whenever flying Qatar Airways.
Eligible members will receive their status benefits such as lounge access, higher checked baggage allowances and priority boarding.
Reward Seat availability will be another benefit of this new partnership, as Velocity members will be able to use their Velocity
Points to book Economy, Business and First Class seats, including Qatar’s renowned Q-Suite
(available on select flights).
This could prove very attractive to Australians, by combining the ease of earning Velocity points and using them for Q-suite
bookings (depending on the awards table, when released).
For others, Avios earned on Qatar flights (or transferred from BA and Iberia, which also use Avios as their rewards currency),
could be redeemed for connections using short-haul or domestic Virgin Australia flights.
Qatar joins Virgin Australia's global family of international airline partnerships, including Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada, Etihad
Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and United Airlines.
Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and United are members of Star Alliance, while Hawaiian
Airlines and Virgin Atlantic are unaligned and have individually agreed partnerships. Qatar is the only OneWorld
alliance member that has a partnership with Virgin Australia. So Virgin Austalia's Velocity could be a bridge between Star
Alliance members and Qatar Airways.
Also interesting is the fact that Virgin Australia has a partnership with 2 of the 3 large Middle East airlines (Etihad and now Qatar). Is
this strategic? - Rhetorical question...
Qantas and Qatar are both members of OneWorld, yet Qantas chooses to have a codeshare agreement with Emirates (the 3rd of the
Virgin Australia permanently slashes premium class fares + limited time boost to status earning
On Thursday March 31st, Virgin Australia announced that it has permanently slashed its domestic business class fares by up to
across Australia which is expected to prompt a premium class fare war.
Importantly, Virgin Australia insists that its business class will continue to include all of the usual amenities including lounge access,
priority check-in and boarding, higher checked baggage allowances, priority overhead luggage, in-flight entertainment, plated meals and
Australian beer, wine and spirits, plus priority baggage delivery. So no cost-cutting from reduced benefits, genuine savings.
To promote the initiative and reward Velocity members, they will also earn 45 per cent more status credits on eligible
Virgin Australia business class flights for travel by June 30, 2022, as part of an extended loyalty promotion.
Virgin Australia has also made significant reductions to fares on its short-haul international network with business class
fares from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to Bali, Fiji and Queenstown currently available to book for travel later in 2022
with fares on these routes 30% to 50% per cent lower than pre-COVID.
Australia seems to be 6 - 12 months behind the US in terms of recovery in travel, where travel bookings have surged, especially for luxury
and bucket-list travel.
Perhaps Virgin Australia is anticipating the same here for 2H2022.
If they are right, now may be the time to lock in flights and accommodation to ensure you get the trip you have dreampt about...
Virgin Australia suspends 10 routes due to covid-19
Virgin Australia will suspend 10 routes from Jan. 24 through at least the end of February citing high COVID-19 case
Together with reducing the frequency of flights on other routes, it is expected to lower capacity by 25%.
Routes affected are:
From Sydney (SYD) flights to Fiji (NAN) will be dropped, the lone international route that will be shelved. Also from SYD,
domestic flights to Townsville (TSV) will be paused.
From Melbourne (MEL), Virgin will also suspend routes to TSV, together with Coffs Harbour (CFS), Hamilton Island (HTI) and
From Adelaide (ADL), the airline will pause routes to Cairns (CNS), Darwin (DRW) and Sunshine Coast (MCY).
From Gold Coast (OOL), Virgin will suspend routes to Hobart (HBA) and Launceston (LST).
It appears that Virgin Australia is targetting the period immediately after many schools will have returned for this year. If you are
planning to travel during February, you may need to adjust your planned flights...
Virgin Australia switches partners | United Airlines replacing Delta
Virgin Australia today announced a long term strategic frequent flyer and codeshare partnership with United Airlines which will be
phased into the Virgin Australia family from April next year.
Velocity members will earn Velocity Points and Status Credits, and eligible members will receive tier benefits
when travelling with United. Reward Seat availability is another significant benefit of the partnership, as members will be able to use
Velocity Points to redeem seats on United’s vast domestic and international network.
United offer the most flights between Australia and North America out of all US-based carriers. The partnership with United will triple Virgin Australia's network reach into the Americas, which means that Velocity members (and other Virgin Australia customers)
will have access to new destinations when flying from Australia to the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America.
strategic partnership will replace a long-term one held with Delta Air Lines and will be phased-in before it fully launches in
April 2022 to minimise disruption to Virgin Austalia and Delta customers.
Velocity has an offer of up to 6,000 bonus Points and 60 Status Credits when you book and fly with one of its partner
airlines departing Australia.
An Eligible Flight is a flight marketed and operated by Delta Air Lines, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Air Canada or Hawaiian Airlines departing from an Australian city for travel to or via Los Angeles, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Vancouver, Honolulu between December 2021 and 30
Bonus Points and Status Credits are a one-time bonus and awarded only on the first international flight segment out of an
While you can book and fly through 30 June 2022, you must activate the offer in your Velocity account by the end of 12 December
- only 2 more days.
Other T&C's also apply, which you can read when you register.
Virgin Australia's loyalty program Velocity has announced a flash sale of award seats for its members.
Until midnight 23 November 2021, you can redeem Points for a Reward Seatonevery
Economy seat on
the Virgin Australia domestic network, for travel between 1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022.
Yes - even during peak travel periods like Christmas and New Years!
A separate competition will be launched for team members, with prizes including additional annual leave, Lounge memberships, and free
business class flights.
Earn Velocity points at 7-Eleven
Velocity has welcomed 7-Eleven as a new partner. Velocity members will now be able to earn points when purchasing fuel or convenience
items at any of the 700+ convenience stores located around Australia.
This will provide an easy way for Velocity's 10 million members to boost their points balance, in anticipation of when we can more easily take to the skies again.
Velocity members will earn:
2 Points per $1 on eligible 7-Eleven in-store purchases;
2 Points per litre on premium fuel at 7-Eleven; and
1 Point per litre on regular fuel at 7-Eleven.
Plus, Velocity members will earn 711 bonus Points on their first eligible purchase at 7-Eleven made by 28 June
For Velocity members to take advantage of this partnership, you will need to:
Have your Velocity membership details handy;
Download the My 7-Eleven appand follow the steps to link your Velocity
account to their My 7-Eleven My Card;
Make an eligible purchase from a 7-Eleven convenience store or fuel station and upon payment scan, your Velocity linked My 7-ElevenMy