UPDATE | The Virgin Australia / Singapore Airlines alliance is in the final stretch, with today's approval by the Competition Commission of Singapore of the tie-up.
That seals the deal from Singapore's end – and with draft approval already granted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, all that remains is the ACCC's final rubber stamp before the partnership alliance can take off.
PREVIOUS | London, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Sao Paulo, China, India, Japan and Vietnam are some of the countries on Virgin Australia's to-do list when its alliance with Singapore Airlines kicks into gear later this year.
Those are among almost 50 codeshare destinations listed in a joint Virgin-Singapore submission to the ACCC, which today received the rubber stamp of draft approval.
That said, Virgin Australia warns this is a set of 'potential new destinations and routings offered on a Virgin Australia code under the Alliance' (italics ours), and there are some caveats.
For example, flights to London via Singapore would be available only from Perth – Virgin's current partner Etihad doesn't tap the WA capital but has other capital cities covered, and Virgin wants to avoid treading on the toes of its several codeshare pals.
And while Beijing, Cape Town, Delhi, Johannesburg, Mumbai and Tokyo are serviced by Etihad those are not listed as Virgin codeshare flights, leaving the door open for Singapore Airlines.
The tally at launch of the Virgin-Singapore alliance would be 36 new cities added to Virgin Australia's route map, with 10 more – among them Rome, Cebu and Phnom Penh – should additional rights open up.
"The Alliance will enable Virgin Australia to offer connections from anywhere within its domestic network to any codeshare destination available with Singapore Airlines, opening up many new routings, including from regional Australia to destinations throughout the world" states the submission (which you can download as a PDF from here).
Other benefits of the partnership will include reciprocal lounge access and the ability to earning and burning points on either airline's frequent flyer scheme.
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.