United & Virgin Australia Launch Partnership

United & Virgin Australia Launch Partnership

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In late 2021 we learned how United would be poaching one of Delta’s partners. We now have concrete dates for when we can expect this partnership to start, so I wanted to provide an updated look at what we can expect.

United & Virgin Australia plan codeshare & reciprocity

As of May 23, 2022, United Airlines and Virgin Australia will be launching a partnership. This partnership will include codeshare flying, giving United customers access to Virgin Australia’s short haul network, and giving Virgin Australia customers access to United’s long haul network (Virgin Australia no longer operates long haul flights).

On top of that, United MileagePlus and Virgin Australia Velocity members can expect the following reciprocal perks:

  • Mileage earning and redemption opportunities
  • Priority check-in, priority boarding, priority baggage handling, priority security clearance, and lounge access

More specifically, United Mileage Plus Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, and Premier 1K members can look forward to the following perks on Virgin Australia:

  • Priority check-in, priority boarding, and priority security clearance where available
  • One additional complimentary checked bag
  • Access to Virgin Australia operated lounges

Here are the United MileagePlus earning rates for travel on Virgin Australia when not ticketed by United (not on 016 ticket stock):

Here are the United MileagePlus earning rates for travel on Virgin Australia when ticketed by United (on 016 ticket stock):

United has long had an impressive route network to Australia. It’s the only US carrier that consistently maintained service to Australia during the pandemic, and the airline also operated more flights to Australia pre-pandemic than any other US airline, despite not having a partner airline there.

Currently United operates daily flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Sydney, and it’s expected that flights to Melbourne, as well as the Houston to Sydney service, will resume later in 2022.

Virgin Australia & United have a new partnership

Delta is being dumped in favor of United

What’s significant here is that pre-pandemic, Delta and Virgin Australia had a transpacific joint venture. This was back when Virgin Australia operated long haul flights, so the airline was a great partner to Delta.

However, Virgin Australia entered voluntary administration in 2020, and got new owners. As part of this, Delta and Virgin Australia had suspended their partnership. With Virgin Australia having a new business plan, the airline is focusing on short haul flying.

What’s interesting is that when the Delta and Virgin Australia partnership was suspended, the narrative was that it would be returning. That’s not the case anymore:

  • Virgin Australia will end its partnership with Delta as of June 12, 2022
  • This seems like a big win for Virgin Australia, since United has a much bigger network to Australia than Delta does, so that means more passengers connecting to Virgin Australia flights, and more transpacific flights for Virgin Australia customers to access
  • Delta is now pursuing a partnership with Rex in Australia, though the airline isn’t as big as Virgin Australia; so I guess it’s better than nothing, but it isn’t great

So while American and Qantas are still by far the strongest alliance between the United States and Australia, United is looking a lot more competitive with the new Virgin Australia partnership.

This partnership is great news for United passengers

Bottom line

United and Virgin Australia are launching a new partnership, which is a major development. As of May 23, 2022, the two airlines will introduce a codeshare agreement, reciprocal mileage earning and redemptions, and reciprocal elite perks.

While individually this announcement may not seem like that big of a development, I think the implications are pretty major here. Virgin Australia is dumping Delta for United here, which is logical when you consider the size of United’s network to Australia. It’s not often Delta gets dumped.

What do you make of the new United & Virgin Australia partnership?

Conversations (53)
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  1. Morgan Gold

    This partnership makes sense

  2. Antonio Guest

    I often fly United for business , so I am glad it makes it more convenient to travel within Australia.

  3. Rose Guest

    I have $3000 in Virgin Aust credits from the Covid shutdown. I wonder if I can use them to fly with American from the US to Australia?

  4. brianna hoffner Member

    So how many PQPs would I get for a Virgin-ticketed round trip SYD-MEL in Economy (let’s say W, H, or K)? It'll be nice to have a domestic option for keeping my 1k status…

    1. brianna hoffner Member

      I just now noticed that most of the comments on this story are from late last year...

  5. Steven E Guest

    Virgin is welcome to that crap carrier

  6. Simon New Member

    Virgin Australia has now announced a partnership with Qatar, which is not only a big surprise but also doesn't fit the "Star alliance hopeful" narrative.

  7. skimegheath Gold

    Virgin Australia announced a partnership with Qatar today.

    1. Ss Guest

      Yeah I felt this was much more left field then the UA deal. Thoughts Ben?

  8. Russ Guest

    For those that have actually travelled in all classes and on both United and Delta, this is one hell of a down grade. I am platinum with both Delta and Virgin and Gold with United. United lounges are poor at best, with no showers and crap packaged food (of late). Generally the service with Delta is by far better than United.
    Yes I agree that United has more flights etc and this is a...

    For those that have actually travelled in all classes and on both United and Delta, this is one hell of a down grade. I am platinum with both Delta and Virgin and Gold with United. United lounges are poor at best, with no showers and crap packaged food (of late). Generally the service with Delta is by far better than United.
    Yes I agree that United has more flights etc and this is a good move for United. However, Virgin Australia now seems like a lower cost airline to me with this new partnership.
    I'm hoping the VA will once again fly to/from the USA, so as I don't have to fly United to keep status.

    1. Watson Gold

      > United lounges are poor at best, with no showers and crap packaged food (of late).

      I guess you've never heard of the Polaris lounge (despite claiming to have traveled UA in J)? Blows SkyClub out of the water. It's easily one of the top J lounges in the world. I've been in worse F lounges, in fact.

  9. Chris Guest

    Great, but I STILL can't use my 'travel credits' from my cancelled long haul flight due to covid, and I can't use them with United either so virgin Australia has my $2,600. They won't refund and the only flight I can use them for is no longer offered. This is not win win for everyone.

  10. Mike Guest

    The only problem with VA’s change to UA - is the UA experience with their transpacific flights is appalling! The cabin crews are the rudest and they behave like they hate their job and want their customers to experience the same. It was a sad day when VA dropped their international routes - they delivered an amazing service and product regardless of your class. UA as a replacement service is like sticking pins in your own eyes.

  11. Bilal Jameel Guest

    this is the good news for everyone..

    1. Mike Guest

      This is horrible news if you’re Australian.

    2. den Guest

      ...did you even read the part that UA was the only US carrier that contnued to fly to AUS while DL dumped your face?

  12. Mike C Gold

    This is an interesting development, as I was looking at joining a Star Alliance FF plan as I diversify my flying options. Might wait and see where VA go with this. Under the old management they had a link with Delta but didn't join Sky Team, so it remains to be seen how they will play it with United. I hope they join as reciprocal elite benefits from SQ/CA should be more complete as an...

    This is an interesting development, as I was looking at joining a Star Alliance FF plan as I diversify my flying options. Might wait and see where VA go with this. Under the old management they had a link with Delta but didn't join Sky Team, so it remains to be seen how they will play it with United. I hope they join as reciprocal elite benefits from SQ/CA should be more complete as an alliance partner than under their current ad hoc partnerships. In the mean time if I fly with either of them I'll rack the points up with VA rather than join a Star program.

    Let the journey begin!

  13. KS Guest

    LOL... How often do we see DL getting dumped? Good for VA, kudos to them! Finally one of them managed to escape DL's trap :-P. I think we may not have to wait long for DL to drop SYD.

    A sad day for VS, AM and LA as they all get dragged in once again into the eternal pit of losses. VA's jump into UA's hands; plus the very fact that DL has to invest in carriers to get a partnership with them goes on to highlight how UA/AA have far more to offer these carriers than DL.

  14. Andy Guest

    Partnerships with SQ, NH, SA, AC and now UA... Star Alliance membership incoming? I know they've consistently ruled out out in the past but perhaps the change of ownership and lack of long haul flying is leading them to reconsider.

    1. Brianair Guest

      Yes, I agree that there is a possibility for Virgin Australia to become Ansett 2.0. The thing is, though, VA stated that they wanted to restructure themselves as not a full-service airline (one that tried to match Qantas) like before, but rather as a JetBlue-style hybrid airline (between the Qantas and Jetstar portions of the market). It's great that VA is partnering with a bunch of full-service airlines in Star Alliance, and it's a step...

      Yes, I agree that there is a possibility for Virgin Australia to become Ansett 2.0. The thing is, though, VA stated that they wanted to restructure themselves as not a full-service airline (one that tried to match Qantas) like before, but rather as a JetBlue-style hybrid airline (between the Qantas and Jetstar portions of the market). It's great that VA is partnering with a bunch of full-service airlines in Star Alliance, and it's a step in the right direction since it helps boost connectivity throughout Oceania overall and gives people more real options besides the red kangaroo, but it isn't really an indicator that they want to join Star. For instance, to compare, JetBlue partners with a bunch of full-service airlines for global connectivity, but they aren't in an alliance, and I can't see them joining one. Same with Westjet. And before they joined Oneworld, which was very recently, Alaska did the same thing (although they are more full-service) for the longest time. These days, the presence of joint ventures and codeshare partnerships seems to be gradually decreasing the value of going as far as joining an alliance.

      (1) Now, I wonder how this would affect Virgin Atlantic, who is in a JV with Delta. Before this, I found it neat how both of the current Virgin airlines partnered with Delta, and I assumed that it wasn't just a coincidence. I thought things would stay that way.

      (2) I can see EVA Air being a great future partner for Virgin Australia. VA is based in Brisbane and EVA Air's only destination in Oceania is Brisbane (due to it having the largest Taiwanese diaspora in the region). While I would love to spot EVA 787s at Sydney or Melbourne on nonstop flights, and it would be cool to give CI some actual competition there, having BR and VA codeshare might make more sense than that if EVA wants access to more of Oceania.

  15. shoeguy Guest

    This makes a lot of sense. DL isn't a major player on US-Australia with a single nonstop from LAX. UA is the biggest of the US3 to Australia with service from San Francisco to Sydney and Melbourne, Los Angeles to Sydney and Melbourne, and Houston to Sydney (all of these when full schedules are operational, which right now are not). UA has very much upped its game in the US-Australia market, having moved away from...

    This makes a lot of sense. DL isn't a major player on US-Australia with a single nonstop from LAX. UA is the biggest of the US3 to Australia with service from San Francisco to Sydney and Melbourne, Los Angeles to Sydney and Melbourne, and Houston to Sydney (all of these when full schedules are operational, which right now are not). UA has very much upped its game in the US-Australia market, having moved away from the 747 and 777 to the 787 to the 787 with a real Polaris cabin, and not the legacy UA/CO seats. I don't think DL will walk away from LAX-SYD (or move it to Seattle and the A350 with it). The DL TPAC network though is going through a massive change and a very different operation from the network inherited through the merger with NW, granted that was very NRT centric, which wasn't needed any longer given the equipment and gateways that permit overflying NRT and more nonstop connectivity. The PVG hub it so badly wanted a few years back with more cooperation through China Eastern is all but unattainable and likely not workable any longer, with a very big reliance on Korean Air now, no Japan partner (DL tried and couldn't wrestle JL out of OW years ago). The TPAC market from the US anyway will take years to recover and DL has very few partners and a much smaller presence than before when all is said and done.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      You do realize that DOT data shows that in 2019, Delta made $300million flying the Pacific while United lost $84M and American lost $380 million, not much more than it did in 2020 when it flew far less capacity?
      Through the 3rd quarter of this year, Delta was profitable flying the Pacific – not so much for American or United.

      All the pontifications about the advantages that United supposedly has in the Pacific haven't...

      You do realize that DOT data shows that in 2019, Delta made $300million flying the Pacific while United lost $84M and American lost $380 million, not much more than it did in 2020 when it flew far less capacity?
      Through the 3rd quarter of this year, Delta was profitable flying the Pacific – not so much for American or United.

      All the pontifications about the advantages that United supposedly has in the Pacific haven't translated into profits - which is what American, Delta and United are all supposed to do. Pan Am was able to fling metal around the world too.

      oh, and you do realize that, pre-covid, Delta got higher average fares from the US to Australia than American?

    2. shoeguy Guest

      Sounds like someone doesn't like their Delta criticized.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      You've been throwing these numbers few times now. Source please?

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Eskimo,

      type this phrase into your search engine and the appropriate Bureau of Transportation Statistics table (which you can query via dropdown menus) will come up
      “Bureau of Transportation Statistics Net Income (In Thousands of Dollars $000) All U.S. Carriers – All regions”

      then I don't have to put a link in which will hang up my post

      shoeguy,
      it has nothing to do with criticizing anything.
      It has to do with...

      Eskimo,

      type this phrase into your search engine and the appropriate Bureau of Transportation Statistics table (which you can query via dropdown menus) will come up
      “Bureau of Transportation Statistics Net Income (In Thousands of Dollars $000) All U.S. Carriers – All regions”

      then I don't have to put a link in which will hang up my post

      shoeguy,
      it has nothing to do with criticizing anything.
      It has to do with knowing the facts that are at play with strategic decisions.
      You and others could have simply left the comments at "well, United gains a nice little partner and snatched them from Delta" rather than trying to tell us that Delta would be cut off from connections (because how did United manage to connect passengers beyond its Australia gateways) or telling us about how great United's Pacific network is or how weak Delta is.
      The fact is that United and Delta have very different goals for operating their Pacific network. After acquiring Northwest, Delta was the largest airline across the Pacific but they regularly lost money. If Delta wanted to remain the largest, they could start plenty of new routes regardless of the status of the NRT hub.
      United jumped in and took the mantle of largest airline across the Pacific - and looses money doing so.
      Of course partnerships often attract the largest players in the market but AA wasn't personally able to benefit in Australia despite a partnership with QF. They said Australia lost money for them.

      United, like American and Delta, is accountable first to the owners of the company - its stockholders that expect it to use its assets well, something airlines have historically done a poor job at.

      After years of failing in the Pacific, American is basically coming to the reality that they cannot be a significant player and cutting down to a handful of core, sustainable routes.

      United is facing massive spending to fix its domestic network because of its overreliance on small regional jets while Delta used the pandemic to gain the most fuel-efficient international fleet of the big 3 - where fuel efficiency matters the most - which United cannot do because of its massive domestic fleet spending. United still has 50 777s grounded for which the future - economically as well as structurally - is not certain.

      United's massive Pacific fleet was not economically sustainable before covid. They can divert their most efficient airplanes to the Pacific but then cut their profits on the Atlantic .
      You might do well to understand the facts and the real implications of those facts before you try to turn relatively minor discussions into a full-scale brag on United and trash of another airline.

    5. Maxpower Guest

      Lol. You’re so weirdly Anti-AA, tim. Reading your posts is always a comedic relief. You’re like an SNL parody of a delta fanboy.

    6. shoeguy Guest

      You do not have the facts and do not know them unless you are in the c-suite at any one of these major airlines and you are clearly not. Give it up already.

    7. Tim Dunn Diamond

      The US airline industry generates enormous amounts of data and reports it to the government; much of it is released to the public eventually. Just because you don't know the data or don't know how to find it doesn't mean it is any less real and it doesn't change the implications of that data.

      US carriers have never done well financially in the Pacific - in part because they are competing directly against some of...

      The US airline industry generates enormous amounts of data and reports it to the government; much of it is released to the public eventually. Just because you don't know the data or don't know how to find it doesn't mean it is any less real and it doesn't change the implications of that data.

      US carriers have never done well financially in the Pacific - in part because they are competing directly against some of their lowest cost long haul competitors that also offer very high levels of service.

      Shortly after inheriting the NW Pacific system, Delta realized that it wasn't worth chasing size at the expense of profits. United is now trying to do what NW and later DL failed at doing.
      And yet Delta still has been the 2nd largest airline across the Pacific. and they allied with Korean, which is the 3rd largest transpac carrier.
      Whether you like the data or not, United itself has told the DOT it hasn't made money flying the Pacific when Delta did.

      I don't know profit margins for Australia because that level of detail is not reported. THAT is C suite level data. Global region data is on a public website.

      All you had to do was congratulate United on winning over Virgin Australia. Period. UA flyers will gain some benefits that DL flyers have enjoyed - but DL is no more shut out of the market beyond its AU gateway at SYD than UA was without a partner.

      And given the significant international fleet changes that have taken place at Delta, there is a very good possibility that Delta will become even more profitable on its international network relative to AA and UA as fuel is unlikely to come back to levels it was in the mid 2010s.

      Like American and Delta, I am strongly betting that United will come to the conclusion that size at the expense of profits in regions where there is little chance of profits.
      For now, US carriers will be much smaller in Asia because of covid regulations and geopolitical changes including to China and HKG.

      We'll see how UA's network to the S. Pacific fares but I would caution you from trying to turn fairly simple partner changes into more than they actually are.

    8. Eskimo Guest

      @Tim Dunn

      Thanks for your source. As I thought, it's from the airlines' self reporting and based on unaudited accounting. I'm not saying the data is wrong. But sometimes GAAP can be misleading and doesn't paint the full picture for operations. What your data sets tell is how profitable based on accounting principles.

      Delta is a well run airline with smart bean counters, so they probably look even better on paper. It does kind...

      @Tim Dunn

      Thanks for your source. As I thought, it's from the airlines' self reporting and based on unaudited accounting. I'm not saying the data is wrong. But sometimes GAAP can be misleading and doesn't paint the full picture for operations. What your data sets tell is how profitable based on accounting principles.

      Delta is a well run airline with smart bean counters, so they probably look even better on paper. It does kind of sucks for DL flyers going to Asia, especially beyond PVG, ICN, or HND. I have to admit, I still prefer a JV on JL/NH over KE/MU.

    9. Tim Dunn Diamond

      huh? accounting IS the language of conveying financial information.
      There is no reason to believe that AA or UA's information about its Pacific profitability is skewed or that DL's is inflated.
      Further, airlines have to use the same methodology across their system. UA is profitable across the Atlantic (or was pre-covid) but just not as much as Delta. I'm not sure why it bothers you to admit that UA is not as profitable...

      huh? accounting IS the language of conveying financial information.
      There is no reason to believe that AA or UA's information about its Pacific profitability is skewed or that DL's is inflated.
      Further, airlines have to use the same methodology across their system. UA is profitable across the Atlantic (or was pre-covid) but just not as much as Delta. I'm not sure why it bothers you to admit that UA is not as profitable as DL - that is apparent from their system level financial results.
      And if you believe that one region of the world has excessive losses, then you need to tell us what regions of UA's world we need to take the profits FROM in order to make the Pacific look better. All 4 regions - TATL, TPAC and Latin plus domestic - add up to the numbers reported on a system level on corporate financial documents filed with the SEC.

      Or you could just admit that maybe UA hasn't figured out that a high volume strategy doesn't work on the Pacific.

      What you or anyone chooses for an airline and partnership is your own choice and is also completely different from whether an airline makes money in that region.
      The first is an opinion. The second is verifiable, published fact.

    10. Russ Guest

      Tim, well written mate. In full agreeance. United need to also look at their service and lounge levels to compete with Delta and others.
      I'm sure if you fly Delta to Sydney and want to connect through, we will be able. It may not have the benefits, but it will be possible to book right through.

  16. TM Gold

    While I'm still mourning the loss of VA's long-haul product, as a Delta flyer, this is another blow. I've enjoyed the lounge access and other elite perks that came as a DL Platinum on VA. From VA's perspective though, I can see why they might benefit more from UAs additional flights since they're not flying their own anymore.

    Hopefully, as Australia slowly reopens to the rest of the world, Delta will add either more routes to SYD or pick up BNE or MEL from LAX.

    1. Phil Guest

      I highly doubt it, Delta were very conservative with their flights to Australia during their partnership with Virgin only having a daily flight to SYD from LAX, What incentive would they have to fly to MEL or BNE without a partner this time?

    2. TM Gold

      DL could afford to be conservative before precisely because of the partnership. The JV allowed them access to BNE/MEL without operating their own metal. Assuming pax numbers between the US and Australia eventually return to pre-pandemic levels, someone will need to fill the void left by VA on their TPAC routes. QF will likely jump on this, but I wouldn't be surprised if DL or someone else fills in there too.

  17. adam goldstein Guest

    Hoping that this will mean Virgin Australia will join Star Alliance - since Ansett left this world 20 years ago there has not been a Star Alliance link in Australia. VA has a great relationship with SQ so here is hoping

  18. Brianair Guest

    Oh man, that must hurt quite a lot for Delta. In the same way that it hurt for AA when LATAM cut ties with them completely. At least with AA, they had the largest network to Latin/South America on their own metal out of the US3, so it wasn’t as huge of a loss if you think about it, but DL just has that one LAX-SYD as their only route in all of Oceania. I...

    Oh man, that must hurt quite a lot for Delta. In the same way that it hurt for AA when LATAM cut ties with them completely. At least with AA, they had the largest network to Latin/South America on their own metal out of the US3, so it wasn’t as huge of a loss if you think about it, but DL just has that one LAX-SYD as their only route in all of Oceania. I don’t understand why they never tried to launch BNE, MEL, or AKL on their own metal; the A359 seems good enough for any of them. They’re also lagging behind in terms of coverage of the South Pacific island destinations (AS & AA partner with FJ, AA partners with TN, AS recently started partnering with FB, UA flies to Tahiti on their own metal, etc.) and I wish they’d even try something like LAX-RAR on the 763.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      You do realize that international airlines regularly book connecting segments on airlines outside of partnerships and joint ventures? Delta is not being cut off from being able to book any Australian airline with which it has a ticketing agreement with which there are several - in the very same way that American and United can AND DO book flights beyond Seoul on Korean.
      Partnerships allow a single carrier code to be applied to all...

      You do realize that international airlines regularly book connecting segments on airlines outside of partnerships and joint ventures? Delta is not being cut off from being able to book any Australian airline with which it has a ticketing agreement with which there are several - in the very same way that American and United can AND DO book flights beyond Seoul on Korean.
      Partnerships allow a single carrier code to be applied to all segments but it doesn't eliminate the ability for any carrier to compete.

      Delta might spend a little more on the connecting segment but since the A350 is more efficient on a per seat basis than the B787-9 and 777s that AA and UA use, the chances are there will be no cost difference to Delta.

      As for Latin America, one airline and only one US airline will have a JV with a Latin American airline that serves nearly a half dozen countries. and it won't be American. The Chilean government already said so.

      Facts and only facts.

    2. Jetiquette Guest

      Doubtful. Virgin Australia was/is pretty much useless.

  19. Chase Guest

    Delta's double down today with investments in its own collection of dumpster fire airlines initially had me scratching my head. Now, it makes sense. Well played United, well played.

    1. Jetiquette Guest

      You're saying Virgin Australia isn't a dumpster fire? Yikes..

  20. Phil Guest

    This is a great decision by Virgin. The problem I have with Delta is that they seem way too conservative with their range of destinations compared to United which has a wider range of destinations.

    Pre pandemic Delta only did SYD-LAX while United did SYD-IAH, SYD-LAX, SYD-SFO, MEL-LAX and MEL-SFO

    Hopefully United also looks at a Melbourne-Houston flight as well and perhaps a return to Brisbane?

    I also bet in the light...

    This is a great decision by Virgin. The problem I have with Delta is that they seem way too conservative with their range of destinations compared to United which has a wider range of destinations.

    Pre pandemic Delta only did SYD-LAX while United did SYD-IAH, SYD-LAX, SYD-SFO, MEL-LAX and MEL-SFO

    Hopefully United also looks at a Melbourne-Houston flight as well and perhaps a return to Brisbane?

    I also bet in the light of this Delta won’t be continuing its SYD-LAX flights much longer.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      I don't think DL will discontinue SYD route at all. It just means AUS won't be connecting on DL.
      I don't think DL is too conservative either. Maybe too optimized but not conservative. LAX is the only DL hub with jets that can reach SYD. SEA based 330/767 doesn't have the range. Now if only DL still had 777, then the 350 could go to SEA.

    2. Phill Guest

      Surely Delta could have done a BNE-SEA comfortably with the 777.

      Brisbane is Virgins largest hub which would have given Delta a huge range of Australian destinations for its customers to connect through. It would have also been a monopoly considering Qantas does not fly to Seattle.

      Geographically Brisbane is also a perfect stopover on the way to parts of the US that can’t be reached directly from Melbourne or Sydney.

      I...

      Surely Delta could have done a BNE-SEA comfortably with the 777.

      Brisbane is Virgins largest hub which would have given Delta a huge range of Australian destinations for its customers to connect through. It would have also been a monopoly considering Qantas does not fly to Seattle.

      Geographically Brisbane is also a perfect stopover on the way to parts of the US that can’t be reached directly from Melbourne or Sydney.

      I don’t think Delta really took good advantage of their partnership with Virgin. Just 1 flight a day from Sydney to LA seemed really stingy, especially when Virgin was already doing BNE/SYD/MEL to LAX.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      you do realize that American, Delta and United as well as most global airlines are for-profit enterprises?

      According to data that each of the big 3 US airlines have filed with the DOT, Delta has made more money flying both the Atlantic and Pacific than either American or United. American hasn't made money flying to Asia in more than 10 years.

      A list of sexy destinations means nothing if airlines can't make money doing it.

    4. Phill Guest

      I never said airlines we’re charities though. I just think United has a better range of destinations than Delta especially for the Aus/NZ market.

      United seems to have done well with their flights down here, I’m sure Delta would have done well adding more flights to Australia from destinations other than LA but chose not to.

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      We don't know whether United is more profitable than Delta to Australia.
      The A350 is more efficient to operate per seat than every other aircraft type in the United fleet except for the 787-10 - which United does not use to Australia.
      Gaining a partnership in order to lose more money or not fixing the reason why United's profitability trails Delta does nothing.
      United has long acted more like Pan Am in...

      We don't know whether United is more profitable than Delta to Australia.
      The A350 is more efficient to operate per seat than every other aircraft type in the United fleet except for the 787-10 - which United does not use to Australia.
      Gaining a partnership in order to lose more money or not fixing the reason why United's profitability trails Delta does nothing.
      United has long acted more like Pan Am in its mindset that it has to serve the world - and not make money doing so - than any other post deregulation US airline.
      Could Delta have added more flights and increased the chances of keeping Virgin Australia? Of course they could have but it doesn't change the fact that Delta has consistently demonstrated that it can and does run a better business than United which is ultimately what both exist to do.
      Will United gain some sort of advantage it doesn't have now? Perhaps. But probably not enough to change the profitability across the Pacific which is as granular of detail as we get publicly for US airlines.

  21. DK Guest

    I think the big question now is: Will Virgin Australia join Star Alliance? They already have strong partnerships with Singapore, ANA, Air Canada, and now United. But the big stumbling block is Air NZ which has a partnership with Qantas though it used to have a partnership with VA.

    1. Mike C Gold

      Air New Zealand and Qantas only have a very limited partnership. It only covers the two carriers operating domestic connections for their respective trans-Tasman services. Of course Air NZ could switch back to VA, but QF still has a better domestic network. As the existing Star Alliance member I would expect NZ to be able to maintain its QF link if it chose, and not face a veto from VA if they were to join Star.

  22. R90 New Member

    While it’s theoretically possible that Virgin Australia partners with both Delta and United, it seems unlikely, and I’d guess there’s some sort of an exclusivity clause among US airlines

    Not happening. Virgin Australia confirmed the Delta Partnership is ending in early 2022.

    1. Ed Guest

      Not beyond the bounds of possibility. Qantas has connecting services beyond LAX and SFO with American, Alaska and United. Back in the old days I had to fight the corporate travel agent not to get put on united connections on Qantas tickets in the US, where I’d get no miles or SCs or recognition.

      No reason why VA can’t interline or codeshare with both DL and UA

  23. Jim Baround Guest

    I think you mean Delta would approach REX, not United

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Tim Dunn Diamond

you do realize that American, Delta and United as well as most global airlines are for-profit enterprises? According to data that each of the big 3 US airlines have filed with the DOT, Delta has made more money flying both the Atlantic and Pacific than either American or United. American hasn't made money flying to Asia in more than 10 years. A list of sexy destinations means nothing if airlines can't make money doing it.

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Watson Gold

> United lounges are poor at best, with no showers and crap packaged food (of late). I guess you've never heard of the Polaris lounge (despite claiming to have traveled UA in J)? Blows SkyClub out of the water. It's easily one of the top J lounges in the world. I've been in worse F lounges, in fact.

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Russ Guest

Total agreement here Mike.

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