Singapore Airlines has signed a codeshare agreement with Virgin Australia, establishing a long-term alliance with the low-cost carrier.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two airlines will codeshare on international and domestic flights, offer reciprocal frequent-flyer programmes and engage in joint sales, marketing and distribution activities.
There will also be a move toward co-ordination of schedules between Singapore and Australia.
At the core, the deal is seen as an attempt to connect Singapore Airlines’ extensive international network with Virgin Australia’s wide range of Australian and Pacific destinations.
The two airlines will lodge an application with the relevant regulatory authorities to enable them to co-operate across a broad range of commercial functions.
Singapore Airlines chief executive Goh Choon Phong said: “Singapore Airlines has been committed to the Australian market for more than 40 years and we are always looking for ways to serve our customers better.
“With regulatory approval, the partnership will enable us to offer even more choice for domestic and international air travel.
“Together with Virgin Australia we will provide the public with access to an enlarged network, offering a first-rate, integrated travel experience.”
The deal brings Singapore Airlines – which was recognised by the World Travel Awards in 2010 as offering the World’s Leading Inflight Entertainment – closer to the Richard Branson owned Virgin Group.
Singapore Airlines presently owns 49 per cent of Virgin Atlantic, however recent Virgin talk of a sale has see some analysts predict Singapore Airlines may boost its stake.
Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti said: “Asia is clearly a critical market for us as we build our international alliance network.
“Singapore Airlines’ extensive network throughout Asia will be particularly attractive to our international business and leisure travellers and this partnership, along with our other alliances, will mean Virgin Australia can now offer truly global flight coverage.
“With the recent re-positioning of our brand and the launch of our product enhancements, including domestic business class, Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines are ideally suited as airline partners.”