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Virgin Blue and United Airlines expand codeshare agreement across Australia

Travel News Asia 20 April 2004

United Airlines and low fare Australian domestic airline, Virgin Blue today announced the expansion of their code share arrangement to include flights to and from more key Australian cities.

The two airlines began their partnership in June 2002 offering hassle free travel to and from the United States and Australia via Brisbane.

The relationship has now been extended to benefit passengers from Adelaide, Cairns, Gold Coast and Perth travelling on Virgin Blue and connecting to a United Airlines flight. Travellers can now enjoy the convenience of a single United Airlines flight number for the entire trip as well as earning frequent flyer points throughout their journey.

Virgin Blue Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, "The Virgin Blue/United code share has succeeded because we offer a high quality, affordable and friendly alternative to the established competition. Virgin Blue has always been about providing great competition and we are proud to give those same high quality choices to the people of Adelaide, Cairns, the Gold Coast and Perth."

Stephen Pearse, United Airlines, Country Manager - Australia, said Australians from all over the country now have even greater choice for travel to the US.

"In a nutshell, this means that more passengers can travel seamlessly with United Airline's international flights out of these cities and allows our frequent flyers and members of Star Alliance frequent flyer programs to earn Mileage Plus points on both the domestic and international legs to the US," he said.

Brett Godfrey said the extended agreement was part of Virgin Blue's ongoing expansion plans in line with the low fare airline's strategy to offer convenient options to Guests without impacting on the airline's low cost base.

"While Virgin Blue doesn't fly to International destinations such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, our United Airlines partner does and we see this as a win-win deal to offer our Guests smooth and convenient connecting option for their overseas travel".

"For United, the new code shares help us deliver even better service to a wider range of customers in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia, giving them access to over 150 US destinations serviced by us, "said Mr Pearse.

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