Virgin drops MAS relationship for SIA
Virgin Australia will end its reciprocal frequent flyer and interline arrangements with Malaysia Airlines as it pursues a partnership with the Kuala Lumpur-based carrier’s rival Singapore Airlines (Sydney Morning Herald, 28-Jun-2011). Virgin and Singapore Airlines have lodged an application with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to form a strategic alliance, which would see the two codeshare and cooperate on pricing, scheduling, marketing and sales on Australia-Singapore services and international and domestic connecting flights. They will also bid for corporate and government travel contracts, and offer reciprocal benefits to members of their respective frequent flyer programmes including lounge access and the ability to earn and burn points. Virgin and Singapore Airlines have said they are looking at new routes, but specific city pairs were left out of the application made public. Malaysia Airlines will join the oneworld alliance and seek closer cooperation with national flag carrier Qantas Airways.