Passengers flying Virgin Australia will soon be able to take advantage of Air Canada’s Los Angeles to Canada services following a new codeshare agreement between the two airlines, set to begin in early 2017. The new codeshare is the first stage of a wider Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the two airlines today (December 15).

Virgin Australia will begin codesharing on Air Canada’s up to 18 flights per day from Los Angeles to Toronto (YYZ), Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC) and Montreal (YUL). Members of the airline’s frequent flyer programme Velocity will be able to earn Velocity Points when travelling on these services.

“We are thrilled to be working closely with a world-class airline in Air Canada to deliver new benefits for our customers, including the planned introduction of direct codeshare flights between Australia and Canada,” said John Thomas, Virgin Australia group executive. “Our Agreement with Air Canada will provide our frequent flyers with more opportunities to earn – and soon redeem – Velocity Points.”

Meanwhile, travellers flying into Australia on Air Canada’s daily Boeing 787 services from Vancouver to Brisbane and B777-200LR services to Sydney will be able to fly on connecting Virgin Australia flights to destinations across Australasia. These include to Adelaide, Canberra, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth, Christchurch, and Auckland.

Air Canada Aeroplan members can earn Aeroplan Miles when travelling on these codeshare services, in addition to on Virgin Australia’s Sydney to Brisbane, Sydney to the Gold Coast and Brisbane to Wellington services.

Reciprocal frequent flyer redemption benefits between the two airlines will be introduced at a subsequent stage of the agreement, with details set to be announced in 2017. The Australian carrier also plans to place its code on Air Canada’s direct flights between Australia (Brisbane and Sydney) and Vancouver in the future.

Virgin Australia also operates daily B777 flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Los Angeles and will introduce five flights per week between Melbourne and Los Angeles in April 2017.;