Virgin Australia brings back points redemption on Singapore Airlines

Virgin Australia frequent flyers can once again use their Velocity Points to book flights on Singapore Airlines to over 30 countries effective from today, Monday 7 February.

It’s a partnership perk that’s been sorely missed after Virgin put a stop on the conversion of Velocity points to KrisFlyer Miles – one of the simplest ways for members to redeem award flights on not only Singapore Airlines but its Star Alliance siblings – in April 2020 as Virgin moved into administration.

But with Virgin soaring again, and Australians headed overseas as pandemic travel restrictions ease, the Singaporean flag-carrier has finally joined Air Canada, Delta Airlines, Etihad Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, South African Airways and Virgin Atlantic, all of which resumed Velocity points redemption in Nov 2021.

No details have been shared on when Virgin expects to resume Velocity bookings with its other Asian partner, Japan’s ANA.

Virgin says it will reactivate Velocity redemptions on Singapore Airlines in stages: only bookings in Singapore Airlines economy class will initially be available , with “the ability to book Velocity Reward Seats in Singapore Airlines’ premium cabins” of premium economy, business and first class “expected to resume shortly.”

Also to come “within the next few months”: the ability to transfer points between Velocity and KrisFlyer programs.

This unique points exchange was a popular measure for enabling Velocity members to obtain points-based bookings and upgrades not only on Singapore Airlines but across the Star Alliance network with members such as ANA, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, Swiss, Thai and newly-minted Virgin partner United Airlines.

Today is a new chapter for Velocity Frequent Flyer with the return of Reward Seats on Singapore Airlines,” said Velocity Frequent Flyer CEO Nick Rohrlach.

“We know how much our members value the incredible service and expansive network of destinations across Asia and Europe that Singapore Airlines offers, and we are really thrilled to have their seats back in the program.”

“When we look at the most popular Singapore Airlines’ redemptions from 2019, Singapore, London, Paris, and Bangkok were top of the list, and we expect a similar trend as our members start to make bookings again.”

If you’re among Virgin’s frequent flyers who have been steadily stockpiling their Velocity Points over the past two years, here’s how many Velocity Points it will cost you to hop a Singapore Airlines flight one-way between Australia and Singapore:

From Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane:

  • 35,000 Velocity Points in SQ economy
  • 52,500 Velocity Points in SQ premium economy
  • 65,000 Velocity Points in SQ business class
  • 95,000 Velocity points in SQ first class

From Adelaide or Perth:

  • 28,000 Velocity Points in SQ economy
  • 42,000 Velocity Points in SQ premium economy
  • 53,000 Velocity Points in SQ business class
  • 78,000 Velocity points in SQ first class

Looking to go all the way to London, Paris, Rome or other Singapore Airlines’ destinations across the UK or Europe? Here’s the tally for a one-way trip from Australia.

  • 75,000 Velocity Points in SQ economy
  • 112,500 Velocity Points in SQ premium economy
  • 139,000 Velocity Points in SQ business class
  • 203,000 Velocity points in SQ first class

Virgin says its 10 million Velocity members have already redeemed hundreds of millions of Velocity Points on international flights since November 2021, with 39% of Velocity members planning to travel overseas within the next 12 months.

“We are starting to see some green shoots in terms of our redemption bookings as travel hungry Australians plan their next domestic or international trip,” Rohrlach said.

“Reward Seats continue to be among the most popular redemptions for Velocity members, and since November, we’ve seen hundreds of millions of Points redeemed on flights with our international airline partners, which is just staggering, and demonstrates huge pent-up demand. ”

In another sign of confidence in travel, Singapore Airlines will this month unveil its new-look KrisFlyer Gold, SilverKris First and The Private Room lounges at Changi Terminal 3, following an extensive SGD$50m makeover of the flagship lounges. They will join the new SilverKris Business Lounge, which reopened to travelers in November 2021.

Additional reporting by David Flynn

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