Delta and Virgin Blue Expand Codeshare

Delta Air Lines has expanded its codesharing agreement with the Virgin Blue Airlines Group that will add five new destinations in Australia and New Zealand to Delta's network. The new service, which will begin May 21, will allow Delta customers to seamlessly connect to Perth, Adelaide and Canberra in Australia, as well as Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand.

Delta customers currently can connect on Virgin Blue flights to Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia, under previously announced codesharing flights that began in January 2010. Delta operates nonstop service between Los Angeles and Sydney, where all codeshare flights connect.

"This expanded codesharing strengthens our alliance relationship with Virgin Blue, and broadens our network throughout Australia and New Zealand to provide a slate of new choices for our customers," said Charlie Pappas, Delta's vice president – Alliances. "It underscores the benefits to our customers of sound alliance relationships with strong airlines like Virgin Blue."

Virgin Blue customers flying the group's long-haul airline, V Australia, now will be able to connect in Los Angeles to Delta flights to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Detroit, in addition to codeshare flights currently available to New York-JFK and Orlando.

The expanded service is the latest step in a previously announced marketing alliance between Delta and Virgin Blue to offer customers access to more destinations across the Pacific as well as reciprocal airport lounge and frequent flier benefits.

Delta SkyMiles members are eligible to earn SkyMiles on V Australia and Virgin Blue domestic airline flights operated in conjunction with the agreement. Delta's BusinessElite customers, Platinum, Gold and Diamond Medallion members and Sky Club members also have complimentary access to Virgin Blue lounges at airports throughout Australia. Virgin Blue's Velocity members are eligible to earn frequent-flier miles for travel on Delta and enjoy complimentary access to 50 Sky Club locations around the world.

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