A few weeks ago the European Union gave its blessing to the transatlantic joint venture being planned by Virgin Atlantic, Air France, KLM and Delta. This involves the four airlines acting as one, jointly co-ordinating pricing and scheduling and pooling all revenue. As part of the process, Air France KLM will take a 31% shareholding in Virgin Atlantic.
US regulatory approval is taking longer to secure. I have seen some commentary that low cost carrier JetBlue is trying to use the process as a way of getting access to Heathrow to launch its own transatlantic services.
With EU approval done, however, the four airlines have decided that it is safe to move to the first stage of integration:
Virgin Atlantic is now codesharing with Air France and KLM on transatlantic routes
You can earn Virgin Flying Club miles and tier points when flying Air France and KLM transatlantic, as long as the flights carry a Virgin Atlantic flight number
You can now book Air France and KLM transatlantic flights through the Virgin Atlantic website
This means that you can now book Virgin Atlantic-coded flights from 18 UK airports – Aberdeen, Belfast, Belfast City, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Humberside, Inverness, Leeds-Bradford, London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle and Norwich.
Here is an example – you can now fly to Montreal on a VS-coded flight, albeit one operated by KLM with an aircraft change in Amsterdam. The screenshot is from virginatlantic.com (click to enlarge):
What routes are included in the Virgin codeshare?
Here are the routes included (click to enlarge):
Air France routes which now have a Virgin codeshare:
KLM routes which now have a Virgin codeshare:
Delta routes from France and NL which now have a Virgin codeshare:
How many Virgin miles and tier points will I earn on KLM and Air France?
Virgin Atlantic has launched two new pages on its website:
As a reminder, until US regulatory approval comes through, you can ONLY earn on VS-coded flights operated by Air France and KLM. There is also no mileage redemption possible at this time. It will be coming, however.
PS. This also works in reverse. You can now book Virgin Atlantic flights with Air France or KLM flight numbers and credit them to Flying Blue.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 2021)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points):
You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points:
(Want to earn more Virgin Points? Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)