SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, and Virgin Atlantic have announced that the UK airline will join as SkyTeam’s newest member in early 2023.
Virgin Atlantic will become SkyTeam’s first and only UK member airline, enhancing the alliance’s transatlantic network and services to and from Heathrow and Manchester Airport.
The alliance claimed that Virgin Atlantic customers ‘will benefit from a consistent, seamless customer experience, across 1,000+ global destinations. They’ll also have more opportunities to earn and redeem points across member airlines and access to a network of 750+ airport lounges, spanning six continents’.
Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club members will enjoy significant benefits from the day of joining, with a global expansion of its loyalty offering. Virgin Atlantic Silver Card holders will be recognised as SkyTeam Elite Members, whilst the airline’s Gold Card members will become Elite Plus. This recognition provides a raft of benefits, including priority check in, baggage handling and boarding. Flying Club members will be able to take advantage of the benefits as soon as Virgin Atlantic officially enrols in SkyTeam, which is expected early in 2023.
Virgin Atlantic’s entry into the alliance builds upon the success of its transatlantic joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM, each already long established SkyTeam members. The four partners are co-located at London Heathrow’s Terminal Three, alongside existing SkyTeam members Aeromexico and China Eastern, providing customers with smooth airside transits and the most convenient connections times possible.
Walter Cho, SkyTeam Chairman said
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.
Kristin Colvile, SkyTeam CEO, 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.
Shai Weiss, CEO Virgin Atlantic, commented,
At Virgin Atlantic we strive to create thoughtful experiences that feel different for our customers and SkyTeam shares that customer first ethos.
Our membership will allow us to enhance established relationships with our valued partners at Delta and Air France-KLM, as well as opening up opportunities to collaborate with new airlines.
It will enable a seamless customer experience, with an expanded network and maximised loyalty benefits.
Codeshare agreements are already in place with Aeromexico and Middle East Airlines with options for more codeshares to follow.
Interline agreements with all SkyTeam members are already in place, providing one touch point for all customers, creating a seamless journey on one ticket.
Virgin Atlantic flies to 12 destinations throughout the USA in partnership with Delta and Air France-KLM including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco. In May the airline launched a brand-new service to Austin, Texas and will start daily flights to Tampa, Florida from November. Virgin Atlantic also operates an extensive Caribbean portfolio including Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica, and The Bahamas. Virgin Atlantic also operates services to Greater China, India, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Africa.
SkyTeam members, Delta, Air France and KLM are already collocated at Virgin Atlantic’s home base at London Heathrow Terminal 3. Virgin Atlantic operates long-haul services from UK regional airports including Edinburgh and Manchester. The airline offers a comprehensive network to North America and the Caribbean in partnership with Delta Air Lines, Air France and KLM, and also operates services to Greater China, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.