- V Australia to operate from Sydney to Abu Dhabi 3 times a week
- Seamless connections across Europe, UK and the Middle East
- Etihad Guest and Veolocity frequent flyer programs to be fully reciprocal
Virgin Blue Holdings Limited (ASX: VBA) and Etihad Airways PJSC today signed an agreement establishing a commercial partnership that will enable Virgin Blue’s international arm, V Australia, to launch direct services to Abu Dhabi in 2011 and the two airlines offer a joint network of more than 100 destinations from October 1, 2010.
Together, Etihad and V Australia will move towards a total of 27 weekly services between Abu Dhabi and Australia – including double-daily services between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, daily Melbourne-Abu Dhabi flights and six frequencies per week between Abu Dhabi and Brisbane.
V Australia will operate three Sydney-Abu Dhabi services per week from February 2011 and three Brisbane-Abu Dhabi services per week by February 2012, using its new fleet of three-class Boeing 777-300ER and becoming the first Australian carrier to operate to the Middle East since 1991.
From October, Virgin Blue Group customers can access Etihad’s network of 65 destinations across North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent. All Virgin Blue services will be available to Etihad customers, opening up 44 destinations in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, and to Asia and Los Angeles.
The agreement integrates the Etihad Guest and Velocity frequent flyer programs, allowing members to earn status/tier points and frequent flyer points immediately along with reciprocal service benefits and lounge access for top tier members of both programs. The ability for members to burn miles on both carriers’ services comes into effect from October 1.