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 Atlantic miles from UK credit cards
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Flying Club miles from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles. That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.
(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles? 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.)