Delta and Virgin Australia suspend transpacific partnership as latter restructures
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
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.
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.
— Airline Maps (@airlinemaps) April 20, 2020
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.
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.
Featured image by James D. Morgan/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.