Effective 1st August 2013 and subject to government approvals, airberlin and Virgin Australia will commence a range of codeshare services in Australia and Europe, in addition to offering reciprocal frequent flyer benefits for members of the respective Topbonus and Velocity programs.
airberlin will place its ‘AB’ code on flights beyond Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to six Australian destinations served by Virgin Australia, providing airberlin guests an opportunity to experience some of Australia’s huge diversity. The cities are: Adelaide, Ayers Rock, Cairns, Darwin, Gold Coast and Perth.
The codeshare agreement with Virgin Australia complements the existing codeshare offer with Etihad Airways on flights from Germany via Abu Dhabi to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, and at the same time increases the number of Australian destinations accessible by an Airberlin codeshare flight from Germany to a total of nine.
An additional component of the new codeshare agreement will see Airberlin putting its ‘AB’ code on Virgin Australia’s non-stop flights from Abu Dhabi to Sydney and from Phuket to Perth.
“The new codeshare agreement with Virgin Australia will provide our flight guests with even better access to key parts of Australia,” says Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, Airberlin’s Chief Executive Officer. “The six-destination increase coupled with the an expansion of existing codeshare flights with Etihad Airways and additional codeshare connections with Virgin Australia from Abu Dhabi to Sydney will make this possible. The new codeshare agreement further exemplifies the far-reaching synergy effects resulting from our strategic partnership with Etihad Airways.”
The codeshare agreement with Virgin Australia enhances Airberlin’s existing codeshare offering with Etihad Airways concerning flights from Germany via Abu Dhabi to Sydney.
Berlin to Sydney will now see connections going from four per week to daily via Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, airberlin is the only German airline to offer the connection from Berlin to Sydney with just a single stop-over.
From 1st August a double-daily connection to Sydney from Dusseldorf via Abu Dhabi will be available through the existing Etihad Airways codeshare and the new connections with Virgin Australia.
Similar to services offered from other German cities, departing Frankfurt and Munich airberlin will offer the option of flying in comfort to Australia with only one stop-over, via Abu Dhabi, in codeshare with strategic partner Etihad Airways.
Elsewhere, the daily Airberlin non-stop flights from Berlin and Dusseldorf to Abu Dhabi will carry the Virgin Australia’s ‘VA’ flight code and provide Virgin Australia guests with improved access to Europe.
As a result of the linking of the two frequent flyer programs, Topbonus members can collect and redeem award miles on flights with Virgin Australia and enjoy the added privileges that their respective Topbonus status accords, such as access to selected airport lounges.
Topbonus is changing its rules for families: the award miles flown between April and September 2015 by individual family members can be consolidated in a single topbonus account. The prerequisite for this is that each family member has their own Topbonus account to which their flown award miles are credited during the promotional period.
“Each family member can then transfer their award miles to another topbonus account within the family during September. Together, the family can therefore collect the miles required for an award flight more quickly”, said Anton Lill, Managing Director of Topbonus, describing the benefits of the mile transfer family promotion. Until now, each traveller in a family only collected award miles for themselves. “With our family campaign, we’re sending a clear signal to the frequent flyer market. topbonus intends to delight passengers with further innovations”, according to Lill.
Topbonus is not only becoming more family friendly, but also more relevant to everyday life. In order to be attractive for families and infrequent flyers, it also now has an enhanced partnership with the DeutschlandCard. DeutschlandCard members collect points when shopping, for example, which they can then turn into topbonus award miles. The DeutschlandCard partners include EDEKA, Marktkauf, Esso, Deutsche Bank and a number of online and regional partners, for example. Thanks to this partnership, topbonus members can now receive the miles for an award flight even quicker.
The advantage of this is that both the DeutschlandCard points can now be exchanged for miles in a ratio of 1:1, and Topbonus award miles can also be exchanged for DeutschlandCard points in a ratio of 3:1. Up until now, you could only exchange points for miles.
To mark the launch of its enhanced partnership with the DeutschlandCard, topbonus is offering attractive additional miles. Up to 1,500 miles for new topbonus registrations and 500 miles for activating the free mileage subscription, with which your collected DeutschlandCard points are automatically debited from your points account every month and credited to your topbonus mileage account. In total, that’s up to 2,000 extra miles. Attractive award flights are available from just 3,000 miles.