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Delta and Virgin Australia suspend transpacific partnership as latter restructures

Sept. 08, 2020
3 min read
Delta and Virgin Australia suspend transpacific partnership as latter restructures
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Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia are suspending their partnership on flights that span the Pacific Ocean as the Australian carrier slims down under new ownership.

The move will see the carriers temporarily halt coordinating schedules, fares and other activities between Australia and the U.S. under their transpacific joint venture, Delta told staff in an internal memo on Sept. 4 that was viewed by TPG. Delta and Virgin Australia plan to resume their pact in the future.

Delta flyers can continue to earn and redeem miles on Virgin Australia, as well as receive elite benefits on the airline, Delta said.

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The suspension follows court approval of a restructuring plan for Virgin Australia. The Brisbane-based carrier is shedding its wide-body Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 jets, and suspending all long-haul international flights until "sufficient demand returns" under the plan.

"Once demand recovers and Virgin Australia resumes long-haul international flights, we anticipate restarting our joint venture relationship," Delta told staff.

Delta is flying thrice-weekly between Los Angeles (LAX) and Sydney (SYD) with plans to resume daily flights in 2021. The flights are on 777-200 aircraft but will shift to Airbus A350-900s in November as the airline retires its fleet of 777s.

Related: Restructuring Virgin Australia to shed wide-body jets, shrink to an all-Boeing 737 airline

While Delta continues to fly to Sydney, Australia remains off-limits to foreigners except those with emergency exemptions. All arriving citizens and non-citizens are subject to a 14-day quarantine.

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Virgin Australia was one of the first casualties of the coronavirus pandemic. The airline entered voluntary administration -- the Australian equivalent of bankruptcy restructuring -- in April, with a court giving final approval to winning bidder Bain Capital's takeover of the airline on Sept. 4.

Under Bain's plan, a slimmed down Virgin Australia will fly around 75 737-800s on domestic and short-haul international routes. However, it will lay off around a third of its workforce -- roughly 3,000 people -- as a result.

Delta and Virgin Australia have coordinated flights across the Pacific since 2011.

Related: A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery

Featured image by Getty Images

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
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  • Extended warranty protection
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  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.