In a bold move, Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines have announced that members of both programs will be able to convert their program currency from one program to the other.
Members of Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer will be able to convert their miles into Virgin Australia Velocity points, and vice versa, starting this November. At time of press for this magazine, the details of the miles/points conversion had not been announced.
The carriers already have a strong partnership, allowing members to earn points/miles as well as status credits on each other’s flights along with the ability to redeem their frequent flyer currency for flights on the partner airline. Some reciprocal elite benefits are also offered. Singapore Airlines belongs to the world’s largest global airline alliance, the Star Alliance, and Virgin Australia does not belong to any global airline alliance (although it currently has partnerships with 11 airlines including Delta and Etihad). Visit http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?11789 to learn more.
Bottom line: The carriers hope to improve their profit margins and successfully compete with other airlines as well as grow their membership base, which are currently 2.5 million for KrisFlyer and 4.5 million for Velocity. This development is especially interesting when you consider that Virgin Australia members can access the Star Alliance network through Singapore Airlines flights even though Virgin Australia does not belong to the Star Alliance. And now, Velocity members can convert their points into Singapore Airlines miles to spend any way they wish within the KrisFlyer program. It will be interesting to find out what the conversion value will be.