Qatar Airways and Virgin Australia have signed a partnership which includes a codeshare agreement and loyalty partnership benefits.
The partnership, announced at the start of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, will provide travellers with greater access and benefits when travelling between Australia and Qatar Airways’ global network.
A new codeshare agreement will see Qatar Airways’ passengers able to travel to 35 destinations on Virgin Australia’s domestic network on a single booking, including destinations such as Cairns, Gold Coast, Alice Springs and Broome. Passengers will also have access to Virgin Australia’s recently relaunched short-haul international markets including Fiji and Queenstown, New Zealand.
Virgin Australia’s customers and members of the airline’s Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty programme will be Abel to access Qatar Airways’ route network of over 140 destinations, including the Middle East, Europe and Africa, via the airline’s hub in Doha.
Customers will be able to book flights through both carriers’ websites.
Additionally, members of Qatar Airways Privilege Club will be able to earn and redeem Avios when flying on Virgin Australia, while similar benefits will be offered to Velocity members when travelling on Qatar.
Members of the loyalty programmes will also gain benefits, depending on tier status, such as complimentary lounge access and extra baggage allowance, priority check-in, boarding and baggage delivery when travelling on the two carriers.
Qatar says that this partnership builds on its “long-term commitment to connecting Australia to the rest of the world” following its international services to the country during the pandemic.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said:
“We have a strong, long-standing relationship with Australia and this agreement with Virgin Australia comes at a time when it is needed the most. This partnership will give Australian passengers access to the world that they have so acutely missed these past two years, to be able to reconnect with family and friends, and keep the wheels of trade moving.
“We hope many of them will stopover in Doha to enjoy the wonderful tourism industry that Qatar has to offer. For those travelling farther afield, they will benefit from the award-winning facilities of our hub, Hamad International Airport, enabling their onward journey. It also opens up the beautiful, cosmopolitan nation of Australia to our passengers flying in on Qatar Airways flights, after such a long, difficult time.”
Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka added:
“Today is more great news for Virgin Australia and Velocity Frequent Flyer members who are hungry to travel internationally. We are incredibly focused on creating great travel experiences and our new partnership with Qatar Airways will significantly expand Virgin Australia’s footprint into the Middle East, Europe and Africa, offering hundreds more ways our guests can seamlessly see the world.
“Virgin Australia and Qatar Airways are both known for their award-winning service and joining forces means that together we are able to provide an incredible experience when travelling between Australia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and beyond. Qatar Airways has been a very important partner to Australia during the pandemic, maintaining vital connectivity to the world in difficult circumstances. We are proud to have Qatar Airways join the Virgin Australia family and we look forward to welcoming their guests onboard Virgin Australia services mid-year.”
Qatar Airways is also part of the Oneworld alliance, of which Australian carrier Qantas is a founding member.