Virgin Australia has inked an alliance agreement with HNA Aviation, Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express, with the airlines submitting an application for authorisation of the proposed alliance to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Subject to authorisation, the airlines plan to:
- Introduce new direct services between Australia and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (Hong Kong), as well as Australia and The People’s Republic of China (mainland China) operated by Virgin Australia
- Codeshare on each other’s flights between Australia and Hong Kong, between Australia and mainland China and on each other’s domestic networks
- Co-operate in relation to route planning, sales, distribution and marketing, frequent flyer programs, lounge access and other activities
Virgin Australia plans to introduce flights between Australia and Hong Kong in mid-2017.
Virgin Australia Group CEO John Borghetti said: “This new alliance will be a game changer for travel between Australia and China, providing significantly more competition and choice for travellers.
“We are excited about introducing direct Virgin Australia flights – and our famous customer service – to Hong Kong, together with access to destinations across China.
“The alliance will accelerate and support our access to the Chinese market, which is Australia’s fastest growing and most valuable inbound travel market.
“HNA Aviation fly nearly 100 million passengers each year and we look forward to working collaboratively with them to drive inbound visitation to Australia, resulting in significant benefits for the Australian tourism industry and broader economy,” said Borghetti.
Image: Virgin Australia A330 Business Class