Air Canada 787

Virgin Australia flyers can now earn Velocity points and status credits when flying with Air Canada, with the launch of a new partnership between the two airlines yesterday.

Virgin Australia began codesharing on limited Air Canada flights between Los Angeles and Canada in 2017. But until now, the partnership did not cover direct flights between Australia and Canada – nor did it include any real frequent flyer benefits.

Earning Velocity points & status credits with Air Canada

From 19 January 2021, Velocity members can earn points and status credits on all Air Canada operated and marketed flights. This includes flights between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Vancouver. To earn points, simply enter your Velocity membership number when booking direct on the Air Canada website.

The number of Velocity points and status credits earned will depend on the fare class and distance flown, as per the charts on the Velocity website. There are different earn rates for flights within Canada and international flights.

For example, you would earn around 7,750 Velocity points + 80 status credits for a round-trip booking from Sydney to Vancouver in a “Discount Economy” fare class. Alternatively, a return Premium Economy flight from Melbourne to Vancouver would earn approximately 16,384 Velocity points and 300 status credits.

Based on the Velocity earning tables, you could expect to earn more status credits for a Melbourne-Vancouver flight than a Sydney-Vancouver or Brisbane-Vancouver flight, as the former route is over 8,000 miles in length.

Unfortunately, the partnership does not currently include additional benefits for Velocity Silver, Gold or Platinum members travelling with Air Canada such as lounge access. Status benefits are also not available to Aeroplan elite members when travelling with Virgin Australia.

Redeeming Velocity points for Air Canada flights

Velocity Frequent Flyer has advertised that members will also be able to redeem Velocity points for Air Canada reward flights. This could be a useful option for members flying to North America in the future, particularly as the ability to transfer Velocity points to KrisFlyer miles (which could be used to book flights on Star Alliance airlines, including Air Canada) has been suspended indefinitely.

Unfortunately, Velocity redemptions for international flights, or flights on any partner airlines, are still unavailable for now. Velocity suspended all partner airline reward flight bookings when it entered voluntary administration in April last year, but still hasn’t reinstated partner airline awards yet despite exiting voluntary administration last November.

Presumably, Air Canada redemptions will become available once normal international travel resumes.

Virgin Australia is also now an Aeroplan partner

The new bilateral partnership between Virgin Australia and Air Canada is reciprocal, meaning members of Air Canada’s Aeroplan program can also now earn and redeem Aeroplan points for Virgin Australia flights.

Earn rates for Virgin Australia flights are available on the Air Canada website.

The number of miles required to redeem for award flights on Virgin Australia is based on the Aeroplan partner airline flight reward charts.

With Aeroplan awards, it would be possible to combine flights with Virgin Australia,  Star Alliance member airlines and other Aeroplan partners including Etihad Airways into one award ticket. Aeroplan also allows stopovers to be added to award bookings for a minimal fee.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: VA to become a partner of Air Canada

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]