Virgin Atlantic to join SkyTeam

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo Credit: AviationSource/ Harrison Rowe
Photo Credit: AviationSource/ Harrison Rowe

LONDON – Airline alliance SkyTeam has announced Virgin Atlantic as their latest addition to the alliance. The airline will operate besides other airlines in SkyTeam such as Delta, KLM, Saudia and AirFrance

Joining in 2023

In an official SkyTeam press release, It’s announced that Virgin Atlantic is set to join the Alliance in early 2023, enhancing SkyTeam’s offering at Manchester (MAN) and London’s Heathrow (LHR).

According to the release, Virgin Atlantic (VS) customers will benefit from even more opportunities in earning and redeeming miles with extensive access to a big global route network. Together with this, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Silver and Gold members will receive a bit of Elite and Elite Plus member benefits, which are to be delivered under the SkyTeam brand.

Virgin Atlantic (VS) is already a founding member of a so-called “Joint Venture” partnership with SkyTeam members KLM, Air France and Delta.

First UK member

The addition of Virgin Atlantic to SkyTeam will make Virgin Atlantic (VS) the only UK airline within the alliance, which is set to enhance the alliance’s transatlantic network as well as services both to and from London Heathrow (LHR) and Manchester (MAN).

The members of the UK carrier’s loyalty programme will also experience a seamless customer experience, across over 1.000 destinations worldwide, as well as they will have the opportunity to redeem and earn points with fellow SkyTeam alliance members. Together with that, they will get access to a network containing over 750 lounges across six continents, it’s said in the press release

Change in benefits already from day one

Already at day one of Virgin Atlantic’s membership in the alliance, Virgin’s Flying Club members will enjoy significant benefits, as they will see the global expansion of SkyTeam’s loyalty offerings.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Silver members, will receive a SkyTeam status marking them as SkyTeam Elite members, whilst the Flying Club Gold card-holders will receive a SkyTeam Elite Plus status, providing a wide range of benefits which consists of: Priority check-in, baggage handling and boarding.

As the airline is set to join the alliance in early 2023, these benefits will be available for the members as written.

A warm welcome from SkyTeam

Virgin Atlantic (VS) are receiving warm welcomes from the SkyTeam leadership. SkyTeam chairman, Walter Cho, said this on the news:- “Virgin Atlantic is synonymous with innovation and excellent service, an iconic British airline with a global outlook that puts customers at the heart of its operations – like SkyTeam and its members – and we are delighted to welcome them into our alliance.”

The UK carrier also received a welcome from SkyTeam CEO, Kristin Colvile, who said:- “As a member of SkyTeam, Virgin Atlantic will benefit from increased opportunities to expand its global network through partnerships and synergies: customers will have more ways to earn and burn miles while enjoying the service for which Virgin Atlantic is renowned. Virgin Atlantic shares SkyTeam’s values, caring for our customers, our employees, and the world in which they live, and we are excited to have them as part of the SkyTeam family.”

Virgin Atlantic appreciates the welcome, with CEO Shai Weiss commenting:- “At Virgin Atlantic, we strive to create thoughtful experiences that feel different for our customers and SkyTeam shares that customer-first ethos. 2022 marks the year Virgin Atlantic gets back to its best for our customers and people and joining SkyTeam is an important milestone.”

“Our membership will allow us to enhance established relationships with our valued partners at Delta and Air France-KLM, as well as open up opportunities to collaborate with new airlines. It will enable a seamless customer experience, with an expanded network and maximised loyalty benefits.”

Codeshare ready

As the airline is ready to join the SkyTeam alliance, codeshare agreements with AeroMexico (AM) and the Middle Eastern carriers are already in place, and there are more to come. Interline agreements with all SkyTeam members, are already in place, creating a seamless one-ticket-journey, as well as providing a one-touch-point for all customers.

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