Whereas this looks like an apparent match, I’m nonetheless stunned to see it lastly taking place.
Virgin Atlantic becoming a member of SkyTeam alliance
Virgin Atlantic will likely be becoming a member of the SkyTeam alliance as of early 2023 (I’ve heard the goal is late January 2023). Virgin Atlantic will change into SkyTeam’s solely UK-based member airline.
Remember that Delta Air Strains has a 49% possession stake in Virgin Atlantic, and the airline can also be in a transatlantic three way partnership with Air France-KLM and Delta. For context, past the above airways, SkyTeam has members like Aeromexico, China Japanese, Korean Air, Center East Airways, Saudia, Vietnam Airways, and so on.
What are the implications of Virgin Atlantic becoming a member of SkyTeam?
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership Gold and Silver members will obtain reciprocal elite recognition when flying with different SkyTeam member airways; Gold members will get SkyTeam Elite Plus standing, whereas Silver members will get SkyTeam Elite standing
- Different SkyTeam member airline elite members will obtain reciprocal elite recognition when flying with Virgin Atlantic; in equity, some members (like Delta) already provided reciprocal elite perks on Virgin Atlantic
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership members will be capable of earn and redeem factors for journey on all SkyTeam member airways
- Members of different SkyTeam loyalty packages will be capable of earn and redeem factors for journey on Virgin Atlantic
- We may even see extra codeshare agreements put in place with different SkyTeam member airways, although that continues to be to be seen
Right here’s how Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss describes this growth:
“At Virgin Atlantic we try to create considerate experiences that really feel totally different for our clients and SkyTeam shares that buyer first ethos. 2022 marks the yr Virgin Atlantic will get again to its greatest for our clients and folks and becoming a member of SkyTeam is a crucial milestone. Our membership will permit us to boost established relationships with our valued companions at Delta and Air France-KLM, in addition to opening up alternatives to collaborate with new airways. It would allow a seamless buyer expertise, with an expanded community and maximised loyalty advantages.”
Right here’s how SkyTeam CEO Kristin Colvile describes this growth:
“As a member of SkyTeam, Virgin Atlantic will profit from elevated alternatives to develop its world community by means of partnerships and synergies: clients can have extra methods to earn and burn miles whereas having fun with the service for which Virgin Atlantic is famend. Virgin Atlantic shares SkyTeam’s values, caring for our clients, our staff, and the world by which they reside, and we’re excited to have them as a part of the SkyTeam household.”
My tackle Virgin Atlantic becoming a member of SkyTeam
On the floor, Virgin Atlantic looks like an apparent match for SkyTeam, on condition that the airline is partly owned by Delta, and is in a transatlantic three way partnership with SkyTeam airways.
Why hasn’t the airline joined SkyTeam up till now? Nicely, as a result of Delta is type of anti-alliance these days. The airline sees much more worth in bilateral agreements, slightly than bigger alliances. Delta tends to exert fairly a little bit of affect over the airways it has possession stakes in. Now I’m curious if LATAM joins SkyTeam as effectively, since beforehand that didn’t look like one thing that Delta was supportive of.
Finally airways becoming a member of world alliances is all the time nice for frequent flyers when it comes to reciprocal elite recognition and the flexibility to earn and redeem factors. That being stated, that is an space the place SkyTeam is considerably worse than oneworld and Star Alliance, in my expertise:
- SkyTeam member airways aren’t nearly as good as oneworld and Star Alliance member airways at making reciprocal award seats accessible
- SkyTeam isn’t truly nice about integrating members; for instance, ITA Airways is now technically in SkyTeam, however check out the reciprocal SkyTeam perks provided, plus the (lack of) potential to redeem factors on ITA
- SkyTeam Elite Plus recognition isn’t nearly as good as Star Alliance Gold or oneworld Emerald recognition when it comes to lounge entry; for instance, overseas SkyTeam Elite Plus members don’t get lounge entry when touring domestically in the US
I’m additionally curious what this growth means for the worth of Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership going ahead. Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership has separate award charts for every associate airline, and has some nice candy spot redemptions, together with on Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, and Delta. Right here’s to hoping we don’t see these candy spot redemptions eradicated, in favor of a streamlined award chart.
Virgin Atlantic will likely be becoming a member of the SkyTeam alliance as of early 2023. That is nice information for frequent flyers, as it can permit for some reciprocal factors incomes and redemption alternatives, in addition to reciprocal elite advantages. I’m curious to see what this implies for the worth of Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership factors, although.
What do you make of Virgin Atlantic becoming a member of SkyTeam?