Qantas and BP Australia have teamed up on a new loyalty program partnership, leaving Virgin’s Velocity program in the lurch.
The partnership will see Qantas’ Frequent Flyer program become a key partner of BP’s new loyalty program, BP Rewards, which launches next year. The partnership will allow customers to earn Qantas Points on fuel and other in-store purchases.
The partnership will also extend to Qantas Business Rewards, which will be the exclusive fuel partner of the BP Plus fuel card.
BP is a cornerstone partner in Virgin Australia’s Velocity loyalty program, next to Wesfarmers and Coles’ flybuys program, despite the fuel giant’s bid to ditch the airline in 2017 when it tried to purchase Woolworths’ network of fuel stations.
The purchase was blocked by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
A Virgin Australia spokesperson told Travel Weekly there’s no immediate change for Velocity members and they can continue to earn and redeem points at BP as well as more than 90 partners and 300 brands.
“We’ve recently announced new partnerships with global rideshare company Ola, freedom, freedom kitchen, Snooze, and Expedia, with more to come,” the spokesperson said.
The news comes at a bad time for Virgin, with the airline announcing it will axe 750 jobs after posting a seventh consecutive full-year loss. Among the dower results, Velocity was a ray of hope for the airline, reporting a 13 per cent growth to $132.4 million for FY2019.
However, the program is in hot water, confirming in July that its co-investor, Connectivity Pte Limited, is looking to offload its 35 per cent investment.
BP’s partnership with Qantas will need to be approved by the ACCC before it comes into effect.