SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, and Virgin Atlantic have announced that Virgin Atlantic will become a member of SkyTeam in early 2023. Virgin Atlantic will be the first and only UK member of SkyTeam, boosting the alliance’s transatlantic network and services to and from Heathrow and Manchester Airport.
Customers of Virgin Atlantic will enjoy a consistent, seamless experience across 1,000+ global locations. In addition, they will have more options to earn and redeem points across member airlines, as well as access to a network of more than 750 airport lounges across six continents.
As a result of a global expansion of the airline’s reward programme, Flying Club members will receive major incentives upon joining. The Silver Card members of Virgin Atlantic will become SkyTeam Elite Members, while the Gold Card members will become Elite Plus. This distinction confers a variety of advantages, including priority check-in, luggage handling, and boarding. As soon as Virgin Atlantic formally joins SkyTeam, which is anticipated to occur in early 2023, Flying Club members will be eligible to receive the advantages.
Virgin Atlantic’s admission into the alliance builds upon the success of its transatlantic joint venture collaboration with long-established SkyTeam members Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM. The four partners are co-located with existing SkyTeam members Aeromexico and China Eastern at London Heathrow’s Terminal Three, enabling customers with seamless airside transits and the most expedient connecting times possible.
Walter Cho, Chairman of SkyTeam, stated, “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.”
SkyTeam CEO Kristin Colvile stated, “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 of Virgin Atlantic, remarked, “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 opening up opportunities to collaborate with new airlines. It will enable a seamless customer experience, with an expanded network and maximised loyalty benefits.”
Aeromexico and Middle East Airlines have already signed codeshare agreements, with the possibility of additional codeshares in the future. Interline agreements with all SkyTeam members are already in place, offering one touch point for all clients and allowing them to travel seamlessly on a single ticket.