‘On track’: Virgin Atlantic on schedule to join SkyTeam alliance by March 2023

Jan 6, 2023

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Hang on to your Virgin Points… as Virgin Atlantic‘s eagerly-awaited joining of the SkyTeam alliance is inching ever closer.

The membership, which will see the U.K. airline become the country’s first to join the alliance and link with carriers including Air France, Delta, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines, was first announced in September 2022 – with SkyTeam’s CEO Kristin Colvile announcing at a press conference that they were “shooting for the end of January” as a joining date although the airline was unable to commit to an exact timeline.

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It’s now been revealed that the union is still “on track” to be completed in the first quarter of 2023 – suggesting we’re looking at Virgin Atlantic being an official SkyTeam member by the end of March at the latest, although it’d be great to see them join sooner.

Confirming as much, a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson told Executive Traveller: “Virgin Atlantic’s entry into SkyTeam is still on track and as planned, we’ll be joining in Q1 this year.”

It’s exciting news for Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members — as Virgin Points are soon about to become much more valuable.

While Virgin Atlantic has been in a partnership with SkyTeam members Air France-KLM and Delta for some time now, as part of the alliance, Flying Club members will be able to earn and redeem Virgin Points with all 18 of its members, currently:

  • Aerolineas Argentinas
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Europa
  • Air France
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • Czech Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • ITA Airways
  • Kenya Airways
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Saudia
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • XiamenAir.

Silver members of Flying Club will also be recognised as SkyTeam Elite members, while Flying Club Gold members will receive Elite Plus status — affording a number of benefits, including checked baggage, priority check-in and boarding and lounge access.

Related: What is the best SkyTeam programme for British travellers?

Virgin Atlantic’s CEO, Shai Weiss, has also teased potential new routes to follow, alas no whispers yet on what they may be.

TPG’s Ben Smithson previously posited that flying to SkyTeam hubs – such as Korean Air’s Seoul (ICN), Vietnam Airlines’s Hanoi (HAN), Aeromexico’s Mexico City (MEX), and China Airline’s Taipei (TPE) — would certainly make sense.

Only time will tell… but at least for now we know we might not need to wait too much longer.

Featured image by Featured image by VIRGIN ATLANTIC

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