VIRGIN Australia yesterday announced a significant expansion of its presence in China, with a new codeshare agreement with shareholder Hainan Airlines, along with a closer frequent flyer partnership.
The pact will see guests travelling from China able to access a wider network of VA domestic connections within Australia and across the Tasman, including flights to Cairns, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland.
Reciprocally the VA code will be placed on Hainan operated services ex Sydney to Xi’an, Changsha and Haikou; ex Melbourne to Xi’an and Changsha and flights to Shenzhen from Brisbane and Cairns.
Velocity Frequent Flyer members will earn points and status credits when flying with either airline under the codeshare, while the same will apply to members of HU’s Fortune Wings Club program.
In addition, priority check-in, boarding and extra baggage allowances will apply for eligible guests when travelling on Hong Kong Airlines operated flights (excluding services to North America) and on international services from Australia & NZ to Greater China on HU offshoots Tianjin Airlines & Capital Airlines.
VA group executive Rob Sharp said the pact would build on the success of the airline’s Hong Kong routes, saying “we are confident that Hainan Airlines is the best partner for us to expand into Greater China with”.