Introduction

An agreement in August 2010 between Etihad Airways and the Australia-based Virgin Australia enables our guests to fly to 44 new destinations in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Asia and to Los Angeles.
Virgin Australia partnership

Virgin Australia partnership

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and Australia-based Virgin Australia Group joined forces on August 26, 2010 to offer our customers an expanded global network and increased loyalty rewards through fully reciprocal frequent flyer programmes and airport lounge access.


Partnership
Connectivity

Connectivity

In February 2011, Virgin Australia became the first Australian airline to operate to the Middle East for 20 years when it launched direct flights to Abu Dhabi from Sydney.

View Virgin Australia' codeshare routes

Visit virginaustralia.com

Connectivity

Onboard and lounge facilities

For short-haul flights, Virgin Australia operates a fleet of 78 modern Boeing  737 and Embraer E170 and E190 E-Jet aircraft.

We are working with Virgin Australia to launch free inflight entertainment and inflight catering for all Etihad guests travelling on a Virgin Australia codeshare route. We will have this in place as soon as possible.

For a small fee, on Virgin Australia you can:

Watch 24 live FOXTEL/AUSTAR channels and a number of pay-per-view movies on your own personal seat-back screen as part of the in-flight entertainment service live2air.

On selected international flights where live2air is not available, DigEplayers are available featuring blockbuster movies, TV shows and music.

In Premium Economy class you can stretch out with an extra 50% of legroom space on the Boeing 737 aircraft.

On Virgin Australia’s flights to New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, the Solomon Islands, Bali and Phuket, you will have a DigEplayer, your own personal in-flight entertainment system featuring blockbuster movies, TV shows and music.

For long-haul flights, Virgin Australia's fleet of three Boeing 777-300ER with three cabin classes offer an array of services and entertainment:

International Economy Cass guests can enjoy a touch-screen and handset-controlled on-demand in-flight entertainment system called RED – available in all classes. Meals and beverages are all-inclusive. There is also an option to select extra leg room.

International Premium Economy Class guests can relax in all-leather seats with a personal workstation with laptop power, in-seat power, USB slot and reading light. In addition, you can swing by the self-service bar once the plane hits cruise altitude.

International Business Class guests can lie back in 1.88-metre flat beds or stretch out with 1.95 metres of legroom and have a massage with a flick of a switch.

You can also use seat-to-seat chat, in-seat power and USB connectivity and a privacy screen. You can pre-book a limousine pick up and drop off service from your departing and arriving airports.

Etihad's lounges
Our top-tier guests are free to use our luxurious First Class lounge and Business Class lounge at Abu Dhabi Airport in addition to having access to premium lounges at airports around the world - including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The partnership allows for reciprocal lounge access for premium passengers and top-tier frequent flyers of Etihad Airways and Virgin Australia.

Our Business and First Class passengers plus guests can also enjoy free lounge access on Virgin Australia flights departing from the following destinations with the following providers:

Melbourne (Malaysian Airlines Golden Lounge)

Sydney (Malaysian Airlines Golden Lounge)

Johannesburg (Virgin Atlantic)

Phuket (Thai Airlines, Royal Silk Lounge)

Los Angeles (Alaska Airlines Board Room)

Etihad's lounges
Our top-tier guests are free to use our luxurious First Class lounge and Business Class lounge at Abu Dhabi Airport in addition to having access to premium lounges at airports around the world - including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Our Diamond First Class, Pearl Business Class and Etihad Guest Gold members travelling on onward domestic flights with Virgin Australia can enjoy its lounge facility with a guest in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth domestic airports.

Benefits include:

Complimentary food and drinks

Self-service check-in kiosks

Free access to wireless broadband internet

Printing, faxing and photocopying facilities

Private workstations and desktop computers

Cinema and large LCD screen TVs

Shower facilities

Private meeting rooms in every lounge available for hire.

Australia & New Zealand Skypass

Thanks to Etihad Airways and our codeshare partners, you can connect better and enjoy great savings with Etihad Airways and the Australia-New Zealand Skypass.

Now, you can travel to even more destinations in Australia and New Zealand thanks to our codeshare partners, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand.


Read more

Loyalty programmes

The new partnership integrates the Etihad Guest and Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum frequent flyer programs, allowing members to earn status/tier points and frequent flyer points immediately along with reciprocal service benefits and lounge access for top-tier members of both programs.

You can now earn Etihad Guest Miles when travelling with Virgin Australia. Simply quote your Etihad Guest Number when making a booking with any of these airlines and remember to present your Etihad Guest Card at check-in. The number of miles earned will depend on the class of booking.
Etihad Guest Gold members receive:

- Priority check-in.
- Lounge access plus one guest in accordance with the lounge agreement between the airlines.
- Free 32kg baggage on Virgin Australia.
- Extra piece of baggage on US-Australia routes plus 10kg additional baggage for other international destinations on Virgin Australia.
- Priority boarding (when available).
- Tier bonus - 50%

Etihad Guest Silver members receive:

- Free 23kg baggage on Virgin Australia.

- Priority boarding (when available).

- Tier bonus – 25%

Frequently asked questions

Why has Etihad entered into this partnership with the Virgin Australia Group of Airlines?

This is the right decision for our businesses and for our customers. We have a very similar approach to customer service and are equally committed to building the strength and reach of our networks, ensuring that we offer the best possible solution for travellers.

How is this different from other codeshare relationships?

There are three key things that immediately make it more than just a codeshare agreement:

  • fully reciprocal frequent flyer and lounge access benefits
  • more extensive codeshare arrangements which will, over time, extend across a vast array of destinations on our networks

  • Virgin Australia International Airlines will fly its own aircraft into Abu Dhabi – more than halfway to Europe – complementing Etihad’s own Australia services.

When did the services go on sale?

Etihad passengers have been able to purchase tickets on Virgin Australia services since October 1, 2010.

What are the immediate changes that might affect me?

For customers with pre-existing bookings, either through Etihad, Virgin Australia or any of our codeshare partners, there is no immediate change. Flight bookings, frequent flyer benefits and lounge access all remain the same for the immediate future.

The only change is greater lounge access and baggage entitlements for Etihad Guest and Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum members. Velocity Gold members travelling on any Etihad services are entitled to the same lounge access that applies to our customers.

Etihad Guest Gold members travelling on Virgin Australia are entitled to lounge access on routes where there is a lounge offering. Those top-tier flyers are also entitled to increased baggage in line with their own frequent flyer programme’s baggage entitlements.

Will Etihad Guest members be able to earn points on the new services?

Yes. Etihad Guest members can earn points and tier miles/status credits on either carrier’s services.

Can I earn and burn immediately?

The integrated frequent flyer programmes mean that customers can earn and redeem points immediately.

Will I earn the same rate of miles?

The earning rate will be as per the operating carrier’s rules. For example, an Etihad Guest member flying on a Virgin Australia flight will earn Etihad Guest miles at the same rate as a Velocity Platinum members would earn points on the same flight.

Is group travel affected on these services?

Customers and travel agents will be able to make group bookings with either airline via specialised group bookings teams.

Do Etihad passengers on Virgin Australia services have to pay for meals or inflight entertainment?

Etihad is working with Virgin Australia to launch free inflight entertainment and inflight catering for all Etihad guests travelling on a Virgin Australia codeshare route. We will have this in place as soon as possible.