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Virgin Australia Launches Partnership With United Airlines

A Virgin Australia Boeing 777 in Los Angeles. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Connections are a crucial part of an airline’s network strategy as it aids in higher possibilities of direct or one-stop flights through the various continents and even extend to the possibility of lounge accesses – all in the convenience of passengers and the profit of the airline.

Although it sounds easy enough to gain and maintain connecting partnerships for airlines, it is usually a gamble as airlines may choose to cut the partnership short if they find a bigger aircraft to fly within these competitive and volatile skies.

Taking Flight With United

United Airlines and Virgin Australia announced a new partnership aimed at improving the travel experience between the Americas and Australia.

The partnership will commence early next year pending government approval. The benefits of the United and Virgin Australia partnership expand to include code sharing of flights and much more one-stop connections to numerous cities across the United States, South America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Virgin Australia will expand its reach into the Americas, which tripled in light of United’s vast domestic and international network — serving as a huge win to both carrier’s networks.

Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said in a press release, “The United States is a key market for Virgin Australia, and we know Australians are excited to be able to travel overseas again, so we’ve created hundreds of new ways they can do that through United’s extensive services to and from Australia.”

As for United Airlines, the partnership will extend its large Australian presence and further strengthen its monopoly as the only U.S carrier to offer flights to Australia.

The United States and Australia share a special bond and I’m especially proud that United was the only airline to maintain a vital link between these two countries throughout the pandemic,” United CEO Scott Kirby, said.

Additionally, for the passengers, the carriers will also give in the ability for Mileage Plus and Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty members to earn and redeem points or miles on each carrier’s flights and lounge accesses.

Changing Partners

Prior to this new partnership with United Airlines, Virgin Australia had previously partnered with Delta Air Lines for its U.S connectivity, but it does make sense as to why Virgin Australia decided it was in its best interest to change partners moving forward.

When comparing Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, the latter does have a stronger network and even Australian presence as it currently offers daily direct flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Sydney, and other services from Houston and direct flights to Melbourne are scheduled to resume next year.

“We are grateful to have such a strong partner in United. They have proudly been one of Australia’s most loyal and long-serving aviation partners and their market strength both to Australia and in the United States brings great value to our guests. We look forward to innovating together on behalf of our guests to ensure they have the very best travel experiences to over 90 destinations in the US,” Hrdilicka added.

Charlotte Seet


  • Charlotte Seet

    Fascinated by aircraft from a very young age, Charlotte’s dream was to work alongside the big birds one day. Pursuing her dream, she went on to achieve her diploma in Aviation Management and is currently working on her degree in Aviation Business in Administration with a minor in Air Traffic Management. When she’s not busy with school assignments, you can find her aircraft spotting for long hours at the airport. In Charlotte’s heart, the Queen of the Skies will always be her favorite aircraft.

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