Aviation

Virgin strengthens ANA codeshare agreement ahead of Tokyo Olympics

All Nippon Airways (ANA) passengers can now board Virgin Australia flights across Australia.

Under the terms of a new agreement between both carriers, Virgin Australia and ANA will implement codeshare flights and launch reciprocal frequent flyer benefits for their members, in a partnership they say will enhance connectivity between Australia and Japan.

The announcement comes as Virgin Australia prepares to launch the country’s first flight’s between Haneda Airport and Brisbane, after winning one of two slots between Japan and Australia.

As a result, three Australian airports will offer services to and from Haneda, just in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics: Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Sir Richard Branson welcomed Virgin Australia’s entry into Japan by turning a baggage carousel into a giant sushi train back in November.

Speaking to Virgin’s latest announcement, chief commercial officer John MacLeod said the partnership allows both carriers to deliver a high level of service and product for travellers.

“We are excited to commence our first fights to Japan, and make it even easier for Australians to visit this wonderful country,” MacLeod said.

“Japan is a popular destination with Australians, with more than half a million Aussies travelling there in 2018, and these numbers predicted to continue to grow.

“It’s important to us to provide travellers with better choice and convenience with our new flights from Brisbane, and the ability to travel onward in Japan with ANA.”

Starting on 30 January, Virgin Australia and ANA will begin codesharing on six routes within Australia. ANA guests will then be able to travel between Sydney and Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns, Sydney and Canberra, Sydney and Gold Coast, and Sydney and Adelaide.

ANA guests will be able to travel on these Virgin Australia services with ANA tickets, having their bags checked all the way through to their destinations and with one booking experience.

Later this year, the carriers will grow their relationship by expanding domestic codeshare in Australia and launch international codeshare between Japan and Australia along with domestic codeshare within Japan.

ANA Holdings funds wildlife relief with donation to Australian Red Cross

Meanwhile, All Nippon Airways’ parent organisation, ANA Holdings, has donated to support relief efforts in the wake of Australia’s bushfire crisis. The donation will include a gift of $20,000 to the Australian Red Cross.

Furthermore, a portion of sales from ANA travel packages will also be donated to other relief organisations.

A donation box will be placed at the ANA check-in counters at Perth and Sydney International Airports, giving passengers the opportunity to contribute to ANA’s relief fund.

Donations that are currently being raised by ANA employees until the end of February 2020 will be donated to WIRES, a wildlife relief organisation working to help animals impacted by bushfires.

The organisation has also extended its sympathies to the people of Australia and its desire for a rapid resolution to the nation’s environmental crisis.

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