The next step of Virgin Australia’s previously proposed alliance agreement with HNA Aviation, Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express has come into effect, with the Australian carrier now forming a codeshare agreement with Hong Kong Airlines. The agreement comes ahead of Virgin Australia’s planned Melbourne-Hong Kong flights, which are due to take off next month.
Under the codeshare, Virgin Australia will place its code on Hong Kong Airlines’ five weekly return services between Hong Kong and the Gold Coast and Cairns, with onward travel to mainland China available for Virgin Australia travellers.
Hong Kong Airlines’ code, meanwhile, will be placed on 11 of Virgin Australia’s services, including its upcoming July 5 VA87/HX3001 Melbourne-Hong Kong route, as well as certain domestic and trans-Tasman routes.
- Between Gold Coast and Auckland
- Between Melbourne and Christchurch, Auckland
- Between Melbourne and Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Perth, Sydney, Gold Coast, Darwin
- Between Sydney and Gold Coast, Cairns
- Between Brisbane and Cairns
- Between Gold Coast and Adelaide
Sales for the codeshare flights will begin in late June.
As it currently stands, members of both airlines frequent flyer programmes – Fortune Wings Club (Hong Kong Airlines) and Velocity Frequent Flyer (Virgin Australia) will be able to accrue miles and earn status on codeshared flights starting July 5. In the future, additional benefits including lounge access, priority check in, priority boarding and additional baggage allowances are expected to be introduced later this year.
“The alliance with Virgin Australia is one of the major steps of Hong Kong Airlines’
globalisation strategy in turning ourselves from a regional airline to an international carrier,” said Hong Kong Airlines co-chairman, Zhang Kui. “Following our launch of Gold Coast and Cairns routes in Australia, Auckland in New Zealand and Vancouver in Canada, we strive to expand our network coverage to a wider region and strengthen our overall competitive edge in the Oceania and the North America region, for the benefits of our customers who are looking for more travel options and seamless connectivity.”