Virgin Australia and Air Canada launch codeshare partnership


Virgin Australia plans to expand its codeshare network through a new partnership with Air Canada.

From early 2017, Virgin will place its VA airline code on Air Canada’s flights from Los Angeles to four Canadian cities – Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Later, the Australian carrier plans to codeshare on Air Canada’s nonstop flights from Brisbane and Sydney to Vancouver, as well as offer reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.

Similarly, Air Canada will codeshare on Virgin domestic flights from Sydney and Brisbane to 10 destinations across Australia and New Zealand, including Adelaide, Canberra, Cairns, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.

Virgin Australia airlines group executive John Thomas said the agreement with Air Canada would offer Velocity frequent flyer members more options to earn and redeem points.

“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,” Thomas said in a statement on Thursday.

Currently, Air Canada flies daily from Vancouver to Sydney with Boeing 777-200LRs, with the Star Alliance member sometimes using 777-300ER equipment during peak periods. The airline started daily service on the Brisbane-Vancouver route with 787s in June.

It is the only airline offering year-round nonstop flights to Canada. Qantas has operated seasonal flights between Sydney and Vancouver with 747-400s since January 2015.

Air Canada and Virgin Australia.

Meanwhile, Virgin has daily nonstop flights from Brisbane and Sydney to Los Angeles with 777-300ER. Also, the airline was returning to the Melbourne-Los Angeles route from April 2017.

A dummy booking on the Virgin website on Thursday for travel from Sydney to Vancouver offered connections on Virgin alliance partner Delta Air Lines‘ flights from Los Angeles. Calgary, Montreal and Toronto were not offered on the Virgin website.

Air Canada chief executive Calin Rovinescu said the strategic cooperation agreement with Virgin Australia would open new destinations for travellers.

“This agreement with Virgin Australia lays the ground work for a mutually beneficial commercial cooperation that will offer Air Canada customers more travel options and frequent flyer benefits when travelling within Australia and New Zealand,” Rovinescu said in a statement.

“We look forward to introducing Air Canada codeshare service on Virgin Australia’s flights and welcoming Virgin Australia’s customers on our flights beginning in the near future.”


Australian Aviation

Some of Australia’s best footballers were recognised at the PFFA Awards overnight

Goalkeeper Brad Jones on the training ground with Feyenoord.

Keeper Brad Jones’ memorable season continues after his Dutch club had a big win overnight and he was lauded by UEFA following his impressive Europa League displays.

Jones’ Feyenoord progressed to the next round of the KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup) after a 5-1 drubbing of ADO Den Haag.

The 34-year-old one-time Caltex Socceroo only conceded three minutes from time with his side already 5-0 up thanks to a hat-trick from Dutch veteran Dirk Kuyt.

It capped a great day for the Aussie gloveman, who was also named in the official UEFA Europa League Team of the Group Stage. Jones was named as the competition’s best keeper despite Feyenoord failing to progress to the knockout phase. In such fine form, the WA-born shot-stopper may also be on the radar of the Caltex Socceroos again.  Elsewhere on Thursday, Massimo Luongo’s 50th appearance for QPR ended in a narrow defeat in England’s Championship. Despite dominating for large periods of the match at Loftus Road, Rangers were sunk by a late strike by Tom Ince to lose 1-0 against Derby County.

There was better news for Bailey Wright’s Preston North End, who came away with a 1-1 draw from their trip to Nottingham Forest.

The Caltex Socceroos defender played the full 90 minutes for Preston, who are now 11th in the Championship and just six points from the playoff places.


Football Federation Australia