07 December 2004
Virgin Blue and Virgin Atlantic Announce Codeshare Deal
On the eve of its launch into Australian skies, Richard Branson’s International airline Virgin Atlantic has joined
forces with its domestic sister carrier Virgin Blue to announce a dynamic code-share partnership to benefit all
Guests travelling with the two award winning airlines.
The inaugural Virgin Atlantic flight from London will touch down on December 8 in the home country of Virgin
Blue, which began operations in Australia in August 2000. Their arrival marks the launch of Virgin Atlantic’s
service from Sydney to Hong Kong and London.
The code-share arrangement will mean a single Virgin Atlantic code for Guests flying on both airlines to, from
and within Australia on the designated services. The partnership is expected to take effect by April 2005.
For Guests, it will mean smooth and hassle free domestic and international connections between the two
Virgin airlines, be it for inbound tourists wanting to travel to some of Australia’s stunning destinations or
Australian’s keen to experience Hong Kong and London and beyond.
Virgin Blue Public & Media Relations Manager, Amanda Bolger said, “We welcome the arrival of Virgin Atlantic
into Australia with much enthusiasm and look forward to working with our sister airline. Both Virgin Blue and
Virgin Atlantic have been recognised world wide as leaders in our respective markets and we are confident
this new partnership will give travellers more freedom of choice in terms of value for money, outstanding
service and the unique Virgin commitment to customer service.”
Virgin Atlantic Regional General ManagerSales and Marketing Manager, Gia Acitelli said, “We have witnessed
the way Virgin Blue has revolutionised domestic air travel in Australia. They have brought low-cost travel to
millions of Australians and firmly established the Virgin brand within the Australian aviation industry. Their
success has paved the way for the launch of Virgin Atlantic’s international full service offering.”
She continued, “Code-share f Flyers will benefit from Virgin Atlantic’s extensive International network as well
as Virgin Blue’s broad Australian coverage. They will also benefit from the clear commitment of both Virgin
carriers to groundbreaking innovations and products. Passengers flying on Virgin Atlantic, for example, will be
able to enjoy unique offerings such as the Upper Class Suite - with the world’s longest fully flat bed, a private
bar to drink with friends and their own private inflight massage room – or experience Virgin Atlantic’s Premier-
Economy Class offering - a spacious mid-cabin between Economy and Upper Class pioneered by Virgin
Virgin Blue has also demonstrated its dedication to cutting edge technology with the recent launch of self-
serve “Blue Check” check-in facilities as well as the being the first airline in the southern hemisphere to offer
Live-2-Air in-flight seatback entertainment from mid next year.
Amanda Bolger added, “Both airlines share the same customer service philosophy that has made the Virgin
brand so successful globally. We are excited to be entering into this code-share arrangement with such a
highly regarded International airline as Virgin Atlantic.”
The agreement will initially be for Guests travelling to and from London via Hong Kong to Sydney
with a codeshare service operated by Virgin Blue to Brisbane, Coolangatta and Melbourne
initially with plans underway to expand the agreement to other ports.
Gia Acitelli continued, “We have lobbied long and hard to bring competition to the Kangaroo route and
together with Virgin Blue, we relish the opportunity to give the traditional players a run for their money and
Guests more bang for their buck.”
Guests will be able to seamlessly book both their Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Blue flights at the
same time via Virgin Atlantic reservations, removing the complicated process of multi-booking
for various domestic and international flights.
Further code share enhancements are already in the pipeline such as an Inter-terminal Guest bus transfer
between the Sydney International Airport and Sydney Domestic T2. The new initiatives will be announced
closer to the launch of the code share arrangement next year.
29th November 2002
Virgin Blue Expands International Options To South East Asia
Virgin Blue announced today it has expanded its expression of interest for international services to include
more potential destinations.
The low fare airline is still considering whether it will operate under the Virgin Blue name or a
separate branding, however it believes after significant interest from parts of South East Asia, as well as
the South Pacific, there was no reason not to expand the scope of potential destinations.
Virgin Blue Head of Commercial, David Huttner said, "With Qantas and Air New Zealand likely to monopolise
the Tasman we thought that broadening the range of our review seemed like an appropriate measure".
"We hope to receive the same enthusiasm from South East Asian Tourism Authorities that we have already
had from their industry colleagues in the South Pacific", he added.
Initial documents that were already sent to East Timor and Indonesia will also be forwarded to Malaysia,
Singapore and Brunei, with the deadline for expressions to be extended until 31 December 2002.
30 November 2005
Virgin Blue Announces Birth of the “New World Carrier” in CAPA Report
The emergence of a new type of airline, the New World Carrier (NWC), is set to throw down a major
challenge to full service airlines globally, according to Virgin Blue.
Virgin Blue predicts that the evolution of some Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) into New World Carriers will expand
the scope of competition with legacy full service carriers. New World Carriers will seek to leverage their low
cost foundations and ability to add valuable new products to increasingly penetrate the lucrative business
market to strengthen yields and profitability.
It is the first time the carrier's latest strategic analysis of global airline competition has been published, and is
contained in the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation's (CAPA) weekly report, Peanuts!, covering LCC news and
developments worldwide. The analysis is taken from the keynote address delivered today to Virgin Blue's
Senior Management Conference detailing the airline's expanded strategic direction, including its "Corporate
"Until recently, the competition between LCCs has largely been a form of land grab in short haul markets, and
the profits of the legacy carriers have been almost incidental victims. Now the ground has largely been staked
out, and it's time for LCCs to start working their claims. As the limits to profits to be wrung out of the low end
of the market become apparent, they have the yields of legacy carriers in their sights", said Virgin Blue.
Peter Harbison, the Centre's Executive Chairman, stated, "We welcome Virgin Blue's decision to provide this
thought-provoking analysis first through the Centre's Research Unit. The LCC model is constantly evolving, as
we see every week in Peanuts!, and this is a timely contribution to the debate on the future of the global
Virgin Blue says that NWCs have the potential to benefit from the "best of both worlds", with an LCC cost
base and legacy carrier yields.
The key elements of NWCs include:
A low cost base, driven by high asset and people productivity;
An ability to develop valuable new products on a profitable pay-per-use basis;
Competition directed at customer segments, as opposed to the traditional route-by-route
competition of LCCs;
Providing a comprehensive network with internal connections and interline/codeshare to access
networks of partner airlines;
Focus on meeting needs of national and international corporate business travellers;
Seamless operations within corporate booking processes;
Innovative development of "many of the trappings" that affords legacy airlines' healthy yields, with a
"barely perceptible" impact on costs.
In the wide-ranging report, Virgin Blue states that there are only some "dyed-in-the-wool" LCC businesses, or
"category killers", which have an unassailable cost base driven by scale and a stripped-down commodity
product. These carriers enjoy good growth prospects according to Virgin Blue.
The carrier also says that the "baby LCC" strategy (carriers set up by legacy airlines) face many problems and
none have yet made an adequate return on capital. The main challenge confronting existing low cost carriers
is the situation where they directly take on legacy carriers in core trunk markets where the latter have a yield
premium to cushion their cost disadvantage. This situation "increasingly will be the case", according to Virgin
Blue and low cost alone is not enough to compete effectively.
The full report is available in this week's edition of Peanuts! The Low Cost Airline weekly, and to CAPA Gold
and Platinum Members.
Virgin Blue is a former CAPA Airline of the Year winner. This year's CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence
winners will be announced at a gala ceremony at the Centre's 2nd annual Asia Pacific and Middle East Aviation
Outlook 2006 Summit, to be held in Kuala Lumpur on 5th December.
21st October 2002
Virgin Blue And United Airlines Open Up The Skies With Code Share Agreement
Monday, 21 October 2002 – Australians now have more choice for travel to the United States (US) with the
code share agreement between major international airline United Airlines and domestic low fare airline, Virgin
Blue on flights from Brisbane to Sydney. The United/Virgin Blue code share flights are now available, with the
first service operating on 27 October.
Passengers flying from Brisbane to the US on both airlines, can now enjoy the convenience of United Airlines
flight codes and the benefits of accruing frequent flyer points on both the domestic and international legs of
the journey. The code share will be extended to other Australian cities over coming months.
United Airlines, General Manager, Australia, Stephen Pearse, said the agreement would provide greater choice
and frequent flyer benefits for Australians travelling to the US.
“Both Virgin Blue and United Airlines are focused on giving customers the freedom of choice for air travel,
which is what this code share agreement will do,“ Mr Pearse said.
“Importantly, the code share will also enable our valuable frequent flyers and members of Star Alliance
frequent flyer programs to accrue Mileage Plus points on the Australian domestic routes to the US, as well as
on the international sector and beyond flights when flying United.
“For travel agents, the code share will make it faster and easier for booking flights from Brisbane to San
Francisco and Los Angeles and beyond.”
Virgin Blue Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said the agreement is another step to ensure that every segment of
the Australian market is not subject to a monopoly.
“With this new service, Virgin Blue can address the needs of inbound tourism as well as Australian’s travelling
abroad, without compromising the highly efficient, service minded and cost effective business model we
operate,” Mr Godfrey said.
Mr Pearse said the agreement would contribute to United’s overall plans for its business in Australia.
“For United, the code share will enable us to improve our offering to the Australian market,” Mr Pearse said.
“As the only US airline offering daily services from Australia to the US, United is recognised as the premium
airline for travel to the US across the Asia Pacific and this code share will enable us to continue providing
greater customer choice.”
Brett Godfrey said the agreement was part of Virgin Blue‟s business expansion plans.
“The Brisbane code-share is the first step in developing a world class international product. It’s all about fair
competition and opening up the skies to provide travellers with choice, which are the core values of Virgin
The flight range for the United/Virgin Blue code-share service between Brisbane and Sydney will be UA9504 –
UA9509 and will incorporate the following schedule, connecting with United’s daily services from Sydney to
SYDNEY TO BRISBANE
Connect with UA 815 LAX-SYD arriving at 0735
UA flight # Frequency Departs Arrives Aircraft
UA9509 MTWTF 0930 0955 B737
UA9509 S S 1000 1025 B737
Connect with UA 863 SFO-SYD arriving at 0820
UA flight # Frequency Departs Arrives Aircraft
UA9505 SMTWTF 1100 1125 B737
UA9505 S 1200 1225 B737
BRISBANE TO SYDNEY
Connect with UA 816 SYD-LAX departing at 1610
UA flight # Frequency Departs Arrives Aircraft
UA9506 SMTWTFS 1100 1330 B737
Connect with UA 862 SYD-SFO departing at 1510
UA flight # Frequency Departs Arrives Aircraft
UA9504 SMTWTFS 1000 1230 B737
United flies daily from Sydney to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and from Melbourne, via Sydney to both US
cities. United offers about 1,900 flights a day on a route network that spans the globe. News releases and
other information about United Airlines can be found at the company’s website, www.united.com.au
15 November 2005
Virgin Blue Woos Business Travellers With „Velocity', Powered By Virgin Blue
The World's Next Generation Loyalty Program
Virgin Blue today unveiled the world's newest loyalty program - "VELOCITY", in conjunction with foundation
launch partners National Australia Bank, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, and Europcar.
The airline also announced two new Velocity branded credit cards – Velocity National Visa Card and the
Velocity National Gold American Express® card.
"Velocity powered by Virgin Blue, is for all of our Guests and is also part of our strategy to broaden Virgin
Blue's appeal to frequent travellers, and the corporate and Government sectors," said Virgin Blue Chief
Executive Officer Brett Godfrey.
"We are more committed than ever to our original charter to drive competition by offering a high quality
product at consistently lower fares, and now we have added a next generation loyalty program to the mix," he
Virgin Blue has grown in five years to offer a competitive national, Tasman and South Pacific Island network.
During the past 12 months the airline has completed a number of key developments including more frequency
on main trunk routes, Blue Plus fares for business travellers, Blue-Check self-check-in kiosks, the progressive
Web Check-In service and new code-share technology.
Brett Godfrey continued "Now with 51 aircraft, and more than 300 flights daily to 22 Australian and six
overseas destinations, we are well positioned to take advantage of our size, scale, and frequency."
"To develop Velocity and determine the key program benefits, we studied the experiences and frustrations of
Australian frequent flyers including members of our competitor's program and those who were members of
the former Ansett Global Rewards. The time is now right for a next generation loyalty program in Australia.
One of the primary frustrations of existing frequent flyer programs is not being able to get a seat when you
want to travel. Velocity is set to change that. Among the key benefits of Velocity:
* Any seat redemption: Every flight, every route, every day, all year round availability*
* No blackout periods: Even at Easter, Christmas, school or public holidays*
* Free on-line membership
* Points don't expire while you are an active member
* Members points are backed by a Trust structure
Brett Godfrey continued, "Virgin Blue is a new world carrier and Velocity is a new world loyalty program.
The reality is we operate in a volatile global market and make no mistake, Virgin Blue will continue to use
innovation and "out of the box" thinking to stay at the forefront of competition, be it with affordable airfares,
award winning service, technology or in this case, a loyalty program."
For more information on Velocity, go to www.velocityrewards.com.au
Virgin Blue looks for new codeshare partner
February 06, 2006
VIRGIN Blue is working towards a deal that would see it add another codeshare and
Velocity frequent flyer partner by the end of March, with others likely to follow later
in the year.
The move, designed to further offset the advantage that Qantas enjoys through its
international network and membership of the Oneworld Alliance, is part of Virgin's
plan to reinvent itself as a "new world carrier" and attract more business travellers.
It is understood the airline is in talks with at least three airlines from the massive
Star Alliance, whose members include Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand, as
well as three independent carriers.
The airline launched its Velocity frequent flyer program in November with Dubai-
based Emirates and Virgin Atlantic as partners.
Virgin Blue chief executive Brett Godfrey confirmed on Friday that the airline was in
talks with several airlines, including Star carriers.
However, he said the airline was not exploring the possibility of joining the alliance.
"I think it's fair to say Oneworld carriers aren't going to be too interested, but Star
carriers would rather put their people -- in terms of domestic distribution -- on anyone
other than a Oneworld carrier," he said.
"So we're naturally interesting for them.
"The issue has always been the inadequacy of our system to talk to their systems, and
we've started to overcome that."
Virgin is moving to distance itself from its low-cost carrier (LCC) beginnings and
reinvent itself as a new type of carrier capable of offering the benefits of full-service
airlines but with an LCC's lower cost base.
It is keen to attract more of the well-heeled travellers that allow Qantas to claim a 30-
40 per cent yield advantage over its smaller competitor and give it more resilience
during economic downturns.
Virgin is also believed to be looking at a premium economy-type service that would
give business travellers increased leg-room on longer flights, and is set to introduce
live cable television on all services.
Separately, the airline moved to refute union claims it underpaid staff.
In a letter to staff, Mr Godfrey said a decision to integrate its payroll system with
Canadian software to remove the need for time sheets had resulted in a slight increase
to pay totalling $300,000 to $400,000.
"The decision was taken to absorb the increase," he said. "The alternative was frankly
more expensive and would have gone in to external pockets instead of the pockets of
Mr Godfrey also denied that directors would seek a 33 per cent pay rise when they
asked shareholders at tomorrow's annual meeting to increase the cap on the total pool
they received from $750,000 to $1 million. He said the board had decided to increase
the number of directors and no director had received a pay rise since the company was
floated in 2003.
Commenting on media references to the $4.3 million remuneration package attributed
to him in the company's 2004-05 annual report, he said this reflected 18 months of
salary as well as "a guesstimate" of options not exercisable until the share price hits
He said it was unlikely that the company's $1.70 share price would reach the required
level any time soon. He pledged to pay any money realised from the options into a
trust fund to help Virgin staff who hit financial difficulties.
"If it is of interest, my salary is $500,000 per annum and it has been since 2003, and
that is all I've been paid," he said.
Don’t insert this:
Just some quotes:
28th November 2003
Virgin Blue Welcomes Sister Carrier‟s Australian Flight Plan
Virgin Atlantic To Introduce New Era In International Travel
“Our code-share relationship with United Airlines has proven that a value based airline can maintain a strong
working relationship with a full service carrier without impacting its benchmark low cost base”
03 June 2004
International Inbound Monopoly Broken By Tremendous Growth at Virgin Blue
“Virgin Blue’s recently expanded code share services with United Airlines will also benefit international Guests
who will be able to seamlessly connect on to Virgin Blue flights to and from Adelaide, Cairns, the Gold Coast
and Perth, in addition to Sydney and Brisbane. This means inbound travellers will enjoy the added
convenience of a single United Airlines flight number for the entire trip as well as earning frequent flyer points
throughout their journey.”
“Virgin Blue confirmed its plans to continue to grow its business from the international market with a range of
high quality, low cost product enhancements including the innovative Blue Pass fare. The new Blue Pass
fare is designed purely for the international market and offers inbound Guests access to good
flight deals and greater flexibility with their Australian domestic air needs”
Virgin Blue looks for new codeshare partner
Steve Creedy - February 06, 2006
“It is understood the airline is in talks with at least three airlines from the massive Star Alliance,
whose members include Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand, as well as three independent
Virgin Blue chief executive Brett Godfrey confirmed on Friday that the airline was in talks with
several airlines, including Star carriers.