On Friday, Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic were granted
authorization from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to
cooperate on services between Australia and the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The approval enables the carriers, already codeshare
partners, to work together with joint pricing, managing inventory, coordinating
schedules and marketing on the routes via their mutual connection points in Los
Angeles and Hong Kong. They also can add any other future mutual connection
points, according to the ACCC.
The approval comes as Virgin Australia earlier this week
announced that it would suspend services between Melbourne and Hong Kong as of
Feb. 11. It will keep its daily service between Hong Kong and Sydney and plans
to improve connections from there not only with Virgin Atlantic but also with
partner Hong Kong Airlines.
Other routes that Virgin Australia announced would end
include Canberra to Perth as of Dec. 6, the Gold Coast to Perth as of Jan. 19
and Sydney to Christchurch, New Zealand, as of April 29. Virgin Australia also
announced two new international routes for next year: Brisbane to Tokyo’s
Haneda Airport and Melbourne to Denpasar, Indonesia, both beginning March 29.
“We maintain a strong network of destinations, and it’s
important that our schedule continues to reflect demand from our business and
leisure customers,” according to Virgin Australia Group CEO and managing
director Paul Scurrah.