Virgin Atlantic is joining Skyteam.
The CEO of Skyteam, Kristin Colvile, said that “Day 1 will be “early January 2023″, although the exact date is yet to be decided.”
Skyteam flights will be available for booking on the Virgin website and there will be increased reward flights available across Skyteam airlines.
Skyteam has updated its website to include the news and also has some questions and answers on it.
Will Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at LHR and others worldwide be available to all SkyTeam customers?
“We’re working closely with Virgin Atlantic regarding access to the Clubhouses. Our ambition is that all Elite Plus members will have access to every one of the Clubhouses. We know that they are world famous and will bring significant new benefits to the relevant SkyTeam members.”
Will SkyTeam customers benefit from the Upper Class Wing at LHR?
“We’re working closely with Virgin Atlantic regarding access to the Upper Class Wing.”
Neither Skyteam not Virgin Atlantic would disclose the cost of joining Skyteam for Virgin, but did say there were membership fees/ dues to doing so.
More generally, Kristin Colvile, SkyTeam CEO, said,
“As a member of SkyTeam, Virgin Atlantic will benefit from increased opportunities to expand its global network through partnerships and synergies: customers will have more ways to earn and burn miles while enjoying the service for which Virgin Atlantic is renowned. Virgin Atlantic shares SkyTeam’s values, caring for our customers, our employees, and the world in which they live, and we are excited to have them as part of the SkyTeam family.”
Codeshare agreements are already in place with Aeromexico and Middle East Airlines. Interline agreements with all SkyTeam members are already in place.
Virgin Atlantic flies to 12 destinations throughout the USA in partnership with Delta and Air France-KLM including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco.
In May the airline launched a new service to Austin, Texas and will start daily flights to Tampa, Florida from November.
Virgin Atlantic also operates an extensive Caribbean portfolio including Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica, and The Bahamas. Virgin Atlantic also operates services to Greater China, India, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Africa.
SkyTeam members, Delta, Air France and KLM are already co-located at Virgin Atlantic’s home base at London Heathrow Terminal 3.
Alex McWhirter comments:
Virgin Atlantic’s membership of Skyteam ought not to come as a surprise to our regular readers.
Virgin Atlantic had been asked this question on endless occasions but at that time Sir Richard Branson was in full control. Now of course US airline Delta holds the purse strings.
So regional readers might ask what’s in it for them.
I mean Virgin Atlantic cancelled its Glasgow base some time ago in favour of Edinburgh. But planned growth at the Scottish capital never materialised.
And what about Manchester?
Mancunians might suspect Virgin Atlantic becomes London-centric.
As Rob Gill at TTG wrote last year, Virgin Atlantic delayed the planned restart of its Manchester to Los Angeles service from summer 2022 to 2023.
Alliances are all about making their members’ operations more efficient.
The worry for regional travellers is that Virgin Atlantic (although it may continue to operate some key routes) might instead rely on other Skyteam members to route regional customers via Amsterdam and Paris CDG.