Update | Virgin Australia is now set to commence international codesharing with Singapore Airlines: click here for full details.
Previous | Singapore Airlines has commenced codesharing on Australian domestic flights operated by Virgin Australia, allowing a single booking to be made for flights feeding into or on from SQ's international services via Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
However, codesharing on international flights remains on the to-do list, with a Singapore Airlines spokeswoman telling Australian Business Traveller only that "Virgin Australia codeshare on Singapore Airlines will go live in the next few months."
Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines already share 'earn and burn' privileges for members of their respective Velocity and KrisFlyer frequent flyer programs.
Virgin's point earning starts at a pleasingly full rate: SQ economy class gains you 1 Velocity point per mile, although allowances in premium cabins are less than you'd expect given the extra money you pay: only 1.25 Velocity points for business class, 1.5 for first class and 1.6 for the swish Singapore Airlines suites.
Also, while Virgin Australia's Velocity frequent flyers can earn points and status credits on SQ flights, KrisFlyer members can't earn Elite Miles – which count towards KrisFlyer Silver and Gold status – when travelling on Virgin Australia flights.
Another need-to-know in the Virgin/Singapore alliance are the rules regarding lounge access: only passengers travelling in Business Class or First Class on a Singapore Airlines-operated flight are allowed entry to SQ's swanky SilverKris Lounge at Singapore's Changi Airport.
If you're a Gold or Platinum member of Virgin Australia Velocity but travelling in SQ economy your access is restricted to SQ’s KrisFlyer Gold Lounge (including the recently-renovated one in Changi T2 which doesn’t even have toilets, let alone showers).
At other airports worldwide, Velocity Gold and Platinum cardholders can get into any of SQ’s SilverKris Lounges around the world when flying with Singapore Airlines, regardless of ticket class – provided it’s a Singapore Airlines-owned and operated lounge.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.