Malaysia Airlines and Virgin Blue have set out a comprehensive interline agreement. This will provide travellers with seamless connectivity between 22 Australian cities and centres to Malaysia Airlines international flights departing and arriving Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane in Phase 1, followed by Adelaide and Perth.
The new partnership, effective from 1 September 2006 was unveiled today by Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, and Malaysia Airlines Managing Director, Idris Jala, who flew to Australia for the announcement.
Both Chief Executives reinforced the partnership as a unique teaming of like-minded airlines.
Idris Jala said, We are truly delighted with this partnership as it is testimony that full-frill and low-fare airlines can indeed team up for seamless passenger connectivity. It means our passengers can now travel to and from many parts of the world to many parts of Australia on a single ticket issued by Malaysia Airlines.
This partnership is in line with our hub-and-spoke strategy. It is a significant development of the winning coalitions thrust of our Business Turnaround plan. Through this partnership we can now expand our market base without the need to increase point to point operations, Idris said.
This partnership has come at a perfect time as the Year 2007 is Visit Malaysia Year in line with the Malaysian Governments objective and our collaboration with Virgin Blue will increase tourists from Australia to Malaysia, he said.
Brett Godfrey said, Our partner Malaysia Airlines has been progressive and instrumental in this project and has helped achieve an exceptionally complex integration of vastly different reservations systems and processes.
An estimated 2-3 million domestic flights within Australia are taken each year by travellers connecting with or arriving on international flights to and from Australia. Its a stand out area of opportunity for Virgin Blue and we are very pleased to be taking this significant step with Malaysia Airlines.
To be able to truly offer a seamless service between our airlines has required close to 12 months of IT development, input from just about every area of our businesses and has included the building of a transfer lounge at Sydney International Airport.
The outcome is a continuum of IT innovation and customer service that takes Virgin Blue into a new league and enables us to offer seamless reservations, check in and transfer handling of Guests and their baggage from all over Australia to link with our international partners flights, Brett concluded.
Bookings for seamless travel to and throughout Australia will be accepted through Malaysia Airlines appointed travel agents in the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia.
The Virgin Blue-Malaysia Airlines tie-up is a further development in Virgin Blues differentiation as a New World Carrier. The new processes offer a range of competitive benefits for air travellers including:
Full through check from point of origin to port of destination. No collecting bags and re-checking them in. Seamless transfers of Guests from Domestic to International airports at the major Australian Gateway ports of Phase 1 - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane with Phase 2 - including Adelaide, Perth and Cairns. The ability to track baggage through the interline process A unified approach to ticketing with international airlines In addition to the new interline partnership Malaysia Airlines has also joined Velocity, Virgin Blue’s award-winning loyalty program, as an international airline partner.
The partnership between Velocity and Malaysia Airlines means that effective from today, Velocity Members will be able to earn and redeem mileage points throughout Malaysia’s extensive international flight network which includes flights to more than 100 destinations across six continents from five cities in Australia.
To celebrate the new partnership, Velocity is offering double points* for travel between Australia and Kuala Lumpur taken between 1 September - 31 October 2006. This means that Velocity Members can earn 16,000 Velocity Points for a return trip to Kuala Lumpur from the east coast of Australia in full economy class.
As well as the fantastic earning opportunities available with Malaysia Airlines, Velocity Members can also use their points to redeem flights to a myriad of international destinations including Europe, Asia, South America, North America and Africa.
The entry of Malaysia Airlines into Velocity continues the programs rapid expansion and complements current airline partners Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Hawaiian Airlines.
Malaysia Airlines has also been nominated at this year’s World Travel Awards in the category of Asia’s Leading Airline.