Virgin Atlantic announced today at a press event in London that the UK-based airline will join global airline alliance SkyTeam as its newest member in early 2023.
By joining the alliance, Virgin Atlantic says it will become SkyTeam’s first and only UK member airline, enhancing the alliance’s transatlantic network and services to and from Heathrow Airport, as well as Manchester Airport.
The carrier’s Flying Club members will enjoy significant benefits from the day of joining, with Virgin Atlantic’s Silver Card holders being recognised as SkyTeam Elite Members, whilst the airline’s Gold Card members will become Elite Plus. This recognition provides benefits such as priority check-in, baggage handling and boarding.
Virgin Atlantic says its Flying Club members will be able to take advantage of the benefits as soon as the airline officially enrols in SkyTeam in early 2023.
1,000+ global destinations
The carrier’s customers will enjoy a consistent, seamless customer experience across 1,000+ global destinations and have more opportunities to earn and redeem points across member airlines. Passengers will also be able to access a network of 750+ airport lounges spanning six continents.
Virgin Atlantic says its entry into the alliance builds upon the success of its transatlantic joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM which are 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.
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. 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.”
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 commented: “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.”
According to Virgin Atlantic, codeshare agreements are already in place with Aeromexico and Middle East Airlines with options for more codeshares to follow and interline agreements with all SkyTeam members are also in place, providing one touch point for all customers, creating a seamless journey on one ticket.