Virgin Australia Velocity has made good on its promise continuing to keep reintroducing award partner redemptions and has just done so with Singapore Airlines for which members can now redeem points again.
The Singapore Airlines redemption option was re-activated yesterday, February 7th 2022 after they were paused during the past two years where Virgin Australia essentially went under and was then revamped with fresh capital.
In late October or last year, Velocity sent out an email from their CEO that partner award bookings will once again be available from November 2nd and they will add (reactivate) more partners down the line.
Virgin Australia Reinstates Most Airline Partner Redemptions From November 2, 2021
Singapore Airlines was NOT included in this announcement which was really an alarm bell for many and it was definitely a good announcement this week when Velocity published they’d be back.
From 7 February 2022, Velocity members are able to redeem Points for Economy Reward Seats on the Singapore Airlines network excluding flights to and from India, China and Hong Kong.
We are working closely with Singapore Airlines to restart Reward Seat redemptions in the remaining cabins and the ability for members to transfer Points between the Velocity and & KrisFlyer programs.
Note that the routes operated by Singapore Airlines may be subject to COVID-19 restrictions, and not all flights will have Reward Seats available. Available travel dates will vary for each route.
Keep in mind that Singapore Airlines has held back almost all Business Class award seats for the better part of the last two years even for their Star Alliance partners and as such I wouldn’t expect much in terms of premium cabin redemptions for the time being. This might change though and I’ve recently seen SQ business class awards through Alaska Mileage Plan on LAX-NRT again.
As most borders reopen within Australia, people Down Under are finally able to travel internationally again and the country soon opens to foreign visitors it’s good for members that it’s finally possible again to move these points in a meaningful way. Of course, most members of Velocity are Australians based on the airlines’ limited footprint.
These are excellent news especially for members who hold Velocity Credit Cards or have transferred balances from other points programs in the past as they’re likely to sit on some big balances nobody exactly likes to burn for some household items in the shop.
The most prominent partners in the past were certainly Delta, Etihad, and Singapore Airlines.
Availability will remain the big question mark. It would be pretty shabby if suddenly Velocity members could only redeem for Economy Class though there’s no indicator that this would be the case.
Amazingly the Executive Traveler writes that Velocity will also bring back the Points Exchange between their Program and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer “within the next few months”. I’d never imagined that to be the case.
Virgin Velocity members globally now once again have access to partner award redemptions on Singapore Airlines (and many other carriers).
When redemptions fully return and it turns out they remain lucrative in the sense of value, especially for Business Class awards then members have really dodged a bullet here. Plenty of programs out there where the underlying airline went into liquidation got decimated or dissolved. With Virgin Australia still around and freshly capitalized I can imagine that option, while on the table, wasn’t a practical proposal as they’d have poisoned their entire customer pool.
It’s good that Virgin Australia and Velocity survived to at least provide some counterweight to a Qantas monopoly in Australia.