Virgin Australia announces partnership with Japan’s largest airline
Frequent flyer benefits will follow later this year.
Virgin Australia today announced a partnership with Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA).
Under the agreement, Virgin Australia and ANA will operate some codeshare flights and offer reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.
The first six codeshare routes begin on 30 January 2020 and are domestic routes within Australia:
- Sydney and Brisbane
- Sydney and Melbourne
- Sydney and Cairns
- Sydney and Canberra
- Sydney and Gold Coast
- Sydney and Adelaide
Further codeshare routes will be announced later in the year, including international routes between Australia and Japan. We can also look forward to more domestic routes within both Japan and Australia.
This news follows on from Virgin Australia's announcement in 2019 of a new route from Brisbane to Tokyo (Haneda) and ANA's new Perth to Tokyo service. ANA will also increase the frequency of its Sydney to Tokyo (Haneda) flights.
Why Virgin Australia and ANA's partnership is exciting for frequent flyers
Virgin Australia is yet to announce the exact details of its frequent flyer agreement with ANA, but typically these agreements allow members in one airline's loyalty scheme to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on the other airline's flights and enjoy the benefits of their status.
This could mean Velocity Frequent Flyer members might be able to earn Velocity Points and status credits for ANA flights. Frequent flyers may also get access to ANA's airport lounges, increased baggage allowances as well as priority check-in and boarding.
This would also potentially add more Velocity Point redemption options for economy class and premium cabin seats across ANA's route network, including the new first and business class seats which it's rolling out to some of its Boeing 777-300ERs.
The new first class seat is called "The Suite" and can be found on its refurbished Boeing 777-300ERs. It has a fully flat seat with door, 43-inch 4K monitor, jacket closet and a privacy partition for centre seats. It's similar to the first class seat found on ANA's new A380s which fly between Japan and Hawaii.
ANA's new business class seat is also found on its refurbished Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. It's called "The Room" and is currently one of the widest business class seats in the world. It's similar to Qatar Airways' popular QSuites business class seat and is a fully enclosed seat with a 24-inch 4K screen, movable partitions and a fully lie-flat seat.
ANA's older business class cabins are nothing to scoff at either, with fully lie flat seats and direct aisle access for everyone.
ANA also has a small number of lounges in Japan. It also belongs to Star Alliance, so those flying with ANA in business and first class could get access to Star Alliance lounges around the world.