Mid last year Air Canada unveiled it’s revamped Aeroplan program and added a bunch of interesting new partners, most notably Etihad.
They also started selling miles with bonus offers for the first time, which meant frequent flyers worldwide could take advantage of some lucrative redemption opportunities. Today there’s a new improvement to the existing codeshare partnership both Virgin Australia and Air Canada have had in place since 2017.
Air Canada And Virgin Australia Partner Up
After months of uncertainty about the future international Virgin Australia partners, Air Canada & Virgin Australia have just announced they will be allowing members of both airlines to earn and redeem their miles, at this stage, we have the details for Aeroplan members looking to redeem their miles on Virgin Australia operated flights. What this looks like for Velocity frequent flyers isn’t clear just yet, but those with Aeroplan miles will be able to use them to book Virgin Australia operated flights.
Pre-pandemic this would have been more exciting as it gives us the possibility to purchase miles for use on the now decommissioned A330’s with class-leading business seats. Right now, the value proposition is less enticing.
However, there may be some good options available (once we can travel again!) considering Aeroplan is a Star Alliance program. This could potentially offer more flexibility for those cities in Australia that have less Star Alliance airlines visiting.
There’s even more potential if you consider Virgin Australia’s short-haul international routes to Indonesia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. That is IF and when these routes are added back into the Virgin Australia network.
Redeeming Aeroplan for Virgin Australia Flights
Aeroplan members will be able to redeem their miles starting January 19, 2021. Flights will be bookable via the online Aeroplan portal and will attract no carrier surcharge. However, there will be a booking fee of 39CAD.
Below is the award chart you will need to refer to for pricing. Some notable sweet spots are:
- Perth to Melbourne: 12,500 pts in economy and 30,000 pts in business
- Sydney to Melbourne: 8,000 pts in economy and 20,000 pts in business
- Perth to Cocos (Keeling) Island: 12,500 pts in economy and 30,000 pts in business (this will depend if the price is calculated with the Christmas Island stop or not; TBC)
Earning Aeroplan Miles on Virgin Australia Flights
Aeroplan members will be able to earn miles on Virgin Australia operated flights, as long as they are booked via Air Canada. Frequent Flyers will be able to earn both Status Qualifying Miles, Status Qualifying Segments and Status Qualifying Dollars which count towards obtaining a higher tier in the Aeroplan frequent flyer program.
Summing Up – Air Canada & Virgin Australia
To me, the partnership makes sense, and it will be interesting to see what redemption rates will be available for Velocity Frequent Flyers. It could also mean the “re-boot” of the partner redemptions and points transfers to the likes of Singapore Airlines which have been put on ice since the start of the pandemic.
H/T: Prince Of Travel