(Bloomberg) -- Virgin Australia Group agreed to a code-sharing arrangement with United Airlines Holdings Inc., replacing a partnership with Delta Air Lines Inc.
The new deal will expand travel opportunities for the airlines’ customers in the U.S., Australia, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America, United and Virgin Australia said in a statement Monday. The arrangement, which will take effect early next year, will allow passengers of each carrier to earn loyalty program points from the other airline and make it easier to book connecting tickets between the carriers.
Airlines are eager for international travel to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. While domestic demand has been growing, overseas bookings have repeatedly suffered as new coronavirus variants emerge.
United’s customers will gain access to Australian destinations including Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, while the partnership will triple Virgin Australia’s reach into the U.S., according to the statement.
The decision will end the Delta and Virgin Australia partnership that has lasted more than a decade. “Delta Air Lines has shared a wonderful journey with us, and we appreciate and value the many achievements we made together,” Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer Jayne Hrdlicka said in separate statement.
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