Virgin Australia and Star Alliance

By john.skeen | Oct 31, 2018, 03:38 PM
I'm over VA not belonging to a global alliance. Remember Ansett? I used to travel east, west and north on an Ansett Star alliance member airline, had over a million miles (lost them all of course), and enjoyed the best reciprocal rights wherever I travelled all over the world with Ansett Star partners. I was able to remain "in the Star family" which made managing travel much easier. Having earn VA Platinum over the years, I've given up hoping they'd join Star and become a real global alternative to QF for its customers. At the moment, the only benefit of being a VA Platinum when flying on SQ or EY is lounge access. NZ now out I believe?.
There will be reasons and excuses as to why they don't join Star, so get on with it and sell out to SQ or ANZ and put us out of our misery.
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By Grannular | Oct 31, 2018, 03:48 PM
If you don't like it, move your travel to an airline that gives you an alliance that you seek. Like you say, there are reasons why they haven't joined and there will be no change any time soon. So your options are to accept the way it is and use the current Virgin partners, or move your business elsewhere.
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By David | Oct 31, 2018, 03:56 PM
Virgin CEO John Borghetti has consistently ruled out joining an alliance or at least made it clear this was his lowest priority on an already crowded to-do list. I wouldn't be surprised to see alliance membership land back on the table (doesn't mean it'll happen though) in 2020 once the new CEO is settled in, but even then I would not hold my breath waiting for it. If you've already "given up hope they'd join Star" then that's probably the best frame of mind to have.
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By DanV | Oct 31, 2018, 04:43 PM
VA "joining Star Alliance" has well and truly sailed since NZ exited the company. NZ and their friends at UA will use their veto to block any VA application (or sponsorship from any of VA's stakeholders) into the Star Alliance.

SQ is going to have to live with it should they not exit VA, as SQ and UA aren't exactly best buddies either.

There is also the DL elephant in the room, and they have mentioned previously that they haven't ruled out buying a VA stake in the future.

SkyTeam is VA's only Alliance option available to them.

I can't see JB's successor and/or any future owner pandering to NZ/Luxon's alleged demands to "exit all international" and "dump Delta".



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By Rigs | Nov 01, 2018, 11:28 AM
I personally am not sure the old airline alliances make much sense anymore. Most of the newer large airlines have chosen more flexible one to one agreements as an alternative. Much is made on forums about VA being 'left out' of these arrangements but it may be the case that the generation of carriers, of which VA is a part, are choosing not join. I can't say I know enough about airline corporate strategy to evaluate the decision but it seem more defensive that people around forums are prepared to grant.
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By mspcooper | Nov 01, 2018, 12:54 PM
VA "joining Star Alliance" has well and truly sailed since NZ exited the company. NZ and their friends at UA will use their veto to block any VA application (or sponsorship from any of VA's stakeholders) into the Star Alliance.

SQ is going to have to live with it should they not exit VA, as SQ and UA aren't exactly best buddies either.

There is also the DL elephant in the room, and they have mentioned previously that they haven't ruled out buying a VA stake in the future.

SkyTeam is VA's only Alliance option available to them.

I can't see JB's successor and/or any future owner pandering to NZ/Luxon's alleged demands to "exit all international" and "dump Delta".




How do we do know that existing airlines have a veto?
It sounds silly to have a veto for airlines in another country. ie: No star alliance airlines are based in australia, so other country airlines should not have a veto! I understand, if there was an existing *A member airline in australia and someone else wanted to join.....
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By Pcoder | Nov 01, 2018, 04:22 PM
The problem with VAs network is that there is huge gaping holes in their partner network. Areas such as Northern Asia, South America, Africa and Europe have very few partners and thus Virgin is unable to offer benefits with Qantas can offer through the oneworld alliance and its own partner network.

The issues with this more frequent flyers gravitate to Qantas as it can offer a larger network, which in turn limits Virgin's ability to pick up frequent flyers. Qantas also being larger internationally is able to go to more destinations on it own, which virgin can't match, so if Virgin joining an alliance it would instantly expand its product.

What I don't get is Qantas is in oneworld, but also has it's own alliance (eg: Emirates, China Eastern, etc), but people always say that you basically have to drop every other partner and have codeshares with only you alliance airlines. Surely Virgin could keep most of its existing network if it were to join an alliance (maybe a few concessions).
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By Neil R | Nov 01, 2018, 06:50 PM
For those of us who have to travel down the back of the plane, the main issue I have with VA (I am VA Platinum) is travelling with SQ. (1) If I am on a VA ticket, I cannot choose my seating when on SQ aircraft. (2) If the lounge is not a SQ run Silverkris lounge eg Star group lounge, there is no access for VA frequent flyers. I have never had any trouble travelling with Delta, Eithad and even Alitalia with VA. But there are gaps in the network, and I have to admit the Emirates tie up for Europe with QF is much better product, it will be interesting to see if this continues once this current 5 year contract expires. I would even be happy with Skyteam if VA was to join. Lets see what happen once the new CEO takes over........
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By gardermoen | Nov 02, 2018, 08:19 AM
Joining an alliance certainly wont happen under JB's clock. He has been strongly opposed to this, instead focussing on building invididual partnerships with airlines.
This is where VA is weaker in the sense that it cannot offer the global coverage and frequent flyer benefits that it's rival Qantas can..
I am VA gold and fly twice a year to Europe. I have no issue with SQ getting me to my first port in Europe, but from there, all my intra-Europe flights means my status is worthless.
This is where QF trumps with its oneworld coverage.
On the matter of VA being vetoed by NZ/UA, I don't really buy this. Remember enemies become frenemies, and frenemies can become BFFs. If there are perks to be gained out of it, these can be overcome.
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By DanV | Nov 02, 2018, 10:31 PM
On the matter of VA being vetoed by NZ/UA, I don't really buy this. Remember enemies become frenemies, and frenemies can become BFFs. If there are perks to be gained out of it, these can be overcome.

In addition to VA having no money to join any Alliance as of the moment, The NZ/VA breakup is too recent. Especially with Christophers Luxon's alleged demands for VA to give up international entirely, "dump Delta" and "feed all intl" into NZ and UA.

While his financial concerns in regards to VA were more than valid, his alleged demands for VA to "close all international" lead to the resulting fall out, when SQ, EY, Branson told Luxon (NZ) off for being "selfish". That's not going to happen with VA's complicated shareholder list, and also VA's long time American BFF Delta.


Until Luxon either gets what he wants by eliminating VA from the international scene, he and his mate at UA will continue to use their veto to block any VA application into *A. The only slim chance of VA getting a look in at *A (if alliances in general even manage to stay relevant by then) is when Luxon moves on from NZ.

Considering there's been plenty of cross-alliance JVs, e.g QF/AF, CX/NZ, LH/CX, etc. Alliances may turn out to be irrelevant in the future.


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By BJ01 | Nov 09, 2018, 04:52 AM
VA need to nail down their partner strategy. The existing hodgepodge of partners and difficult to follow benefidepending on status/travel class/destination/insert many other variables here, makes for a poor experience all round for regular international travelers.

By way back of example, look at the international lounge situation in BNE - 3 different lounges dependent on one of the variables above - crazy. Let’s hope ‘The House’ arrangements help here but I have my doubts.

I agree on the gap for intra-Europe. Alitalia doesn’t cut it.
SQ are a good partner but I don’t feel my VA Plat status means much to them on the ground or in the air. 
If they nailed this, being a member of *A by way of example, becomes less important. If they can’t sort it, then yes, being in an alliance puts the necessary ‘guard rails’ around the experience and simplifies things.
I like VA but they make it hard to love them sometimes, particularly when you step outside of the bog standard domestic travel shuffle 
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