Media Release 2010-07-21
Skywest and Virgin Blue enter Memorandum of Understanding
Skywest Airlines (Australia) Pty Ltd and The Virgin Blue Group of Airlines have today finalised an in-principle agreement for a reciprocal codeshare arrangement in Western Australia.
The agreement is the first of its kind between Virgin Blue and another Australian domestic airline and would include the following benefits:
- A broader network offering to service the mining sector and leisure travellers
- Integration of Skywest flights into Velocity, Virgin Blue’s loyalty program
- Joint Lounge access for eligible Skywest guests
Virgin Blue Airlines Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti said the agreement would allow the airlines to develop a closer, more strategic commercial relationship.
The first phase of this agreement means that Virgin Blue customers will have access to an expanded network in Western Australia to include destinations such as: Albany, Esperance, Geraldton, Exmouth, Carnarvon, Monkey Mia and Kalbarri. This planned expansion of the codeshare agreement will more than double the routes on which the airlines co-operate. Ports already covered by the agreement include: Broome, Kununurra, Karratha and Kalgoorlie.
"These additional flights will appeal to the corporate and leisure sectors with full interline capability of baggage and the ability of our Velocity members to earn and burn points on Skywest flights.”
“The parties will also seek to explore opportunities to coordinate schedules, develop joint marketing programs and submit joint tenders for new business opportunities, subject to obtaining any necessary regulatory approval," he said.
Skywest Chief Executive Officer Mark Shelton said the agreement extended a three-year relationship with Virgin Blue.
"We’re proud to be joining forces with Virgin Blue to enable guests to board a Virgin Blue flight in Sydney to Perth and then transfer to a Skywest flight to regional Western Australia,” Mr Shelton said.
"We are also pleased to be able to offer our customers access to Virgin Blue's Lounge and Velocity loyalty program benefits," he said.