Delta Grows Codeshare With Virgin Australia

Delta Air Lines is adding its DL tag to some more Virgin Australia routes as the codeshare agreement between the two airlines continues to grow.

The routes include Brisbane – Launceston – Brisbane, Brisbane – Queenstown – Brisbane, Sydney – Hobart – Sydney, Sydney – Launceston – Sydney, Sydney – Queenstown – Sydney, and Sydney – Wellington – Sydney.

It means you can now fly from, say, Las Vegas to Launceston on a Delta ticket or Wellington to Washington on a Virgin Australia ticket, and collecting your points and status credits the entire way through.

But these are not heavily trafficked routes. Virgin Australia operates two direct return flights a day between Sydney and Hobart, stepping up to three a day on Sundays. There is a daily direct return service between Sydney and Launceston. Heading out over the Tasman? Virgin Australia flies five direct return flights a week between Sydney and Wellington and six direct return flights a week between Sydney and Queenstown.

The pickings are even slimmer on the two routes out of Brisbane. Virgin Australia flies three direct return services a week between Brisbane and Queenstown and just one weekly direct return service between Brisbane and Launceston (which begs the question, why bother?)

New Zealand is a weak point in the Virgin Australia / Delta alliance. Neither carrier has direct services between New Zealand and North America. In contrast, the competing Qantas / American Airlines alliance offers seasonal flights out of Auckland and that will be stepping up next year with the rollout of new flights into New Zealand from Dallas and Los Angeles. The clear leader in this Virgin / Delta strategic weak spot is the Air New Zealand / United alliance who offer multiple year-round daily services.

But you can’t knock attempts to funnel passengers to both New Zealand and Tasmania. I’m writing this from Tasmania and it is a great part of the world. It is a long haul from North America but well worth the effort.

The new codeshare agreement between Virgin Australia and Delta Air Lines has come into effect this week.


Categories: Virgin Australia

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