Virgin Australia and Hong Kong Airlines become codeshare partners
Hong Kong and mainland China just got a lot closer.
Virgin Australia and Hong Kong Airlines have just made the first concrete step towards a strategic alliance that was announced in February 2017, with the launch of a codeshare partnership on a wide range of flights.
As of 5 July 2017, Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer members will be able to earn points on eligible Hong Kong Airlines, while Hong Kong Airlines Fortune Wings Club members will be able to earn points on eligible Virgin Australia flights. Also, these flights will let members of each earn status points towards elite membership.
This deal opens up a world of possibilities, with Hong Kong and China being some of the most extraordinarily popular destinations, and Virgin Australia's Velocity program having around seven million members. Safe to say, a lot of travellers in Australia and Hong Kong alike are going to be very excited about this.
Tickets for these flights are already on sale, and the first to benefit will be Virgin Australia's new VA87/HX3001, first flying from Melbourne to Hong Kong at 9.40am on 5 July.
The strategic partnership was only announced in February, the Melbourne and Hong Kong direct flights only surfaced in March, and now the codeshare announcement shows that both airlines are really pushing the accelerator on their expansion plans. This is just the beginning, and travellers between Australia and China definitely have a lot to look forward to.
Other benefits slated for arrival in 2017, for both Velocity and Fortune Wings Club members, include more access to airline lounges, priority boarding and additional baggage allowances.
Both airlines have always put a strong emphasis on customer service as well, so it's unsurprising that the carriers are also discussing the possibility of cabin crew exchanges, letting all travellers get that much more familiarity, and fewer language hurdles, as they make their ways across Australia and Asia.
Eligible codeshare flights
Other than Melbourne to Hong Kong directs, the exact roster of Hong Kong Airlines flights for Velocity members may still be up in the air. In keeping with the stated goal of "seamless travel between Hong Kong, mainland China and Australia", you can expect plenty of eligible connections from Hong Kong and flights within and around China.
Meanwhile, it's safe to say that Fortune Wings Club members are going to love their new network in Australia, with domestic flights around Australia from Melbourne, a strong emphasis on Sydney and the Gold Coast, and routes to Auckland and Christchurch over in New Zealand.