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Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia outline first steps of alliance

Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia have announced the first two milestones of their recently approved alliance: new international and domestic routes to Darwin and the launch of frequent flyer programme co-operation.

As part of a joint plan to increase services to northern Australia, Singapore Airlines’ regional full service airline, SilkAir, will begin a four-times-weekly service between Singapore and Darwin from March 26th 2012, and Virgin Australia will complement these services with a daily service between Sydney and Darwin from April 2nd 2012 .

The two airlines also confirmed that from December 20th this year, they will commence reciprocal frequent flyer recognition, enabling KrisFlyer members to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on Virgin Australia’s entire network and Velocity members to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on Singapore Airlines-operated flights.

Reciprocal lounge access is also available for eligible customers.

Singapore Airlines executive vice president commercial and SilkAir chairman Mak Swee Wah said: “We are delighted to be adding Darwin to our network and providing more travel options for our customers as a result of our alliance with Virgin Australia.

“Our partnership enables us to better service this important market, particularly with the introduction of a strong business class product and extensive international connections.

“The launch of reciprocal frequent flyer programme ties will also be particularly exciting news for our loyal customers.

“Our partnership with Virgin Australia will be delivering tangible benefits to customers, with more choice for domestic and international travel combined with seamless service.”

Virgin Australia also announced that it would open a lounge at Darwin Airport that would accommodate eligible Virgin Australia guests and those of its alliance partners.

The two airlines expect to commence codesharing on each other’s services from early 2012.

Virgin Australia group executive of alliances, network & yield management Merren McArthur, said: “The alliance with Singapore Airlines enables us to open up important new routes in Australia and Asia and we have moved quickly to identify and realise this opportunity with our new partner.”