The newest Aeroplan partner airline: Virgin Australia!
After months of public speculation, Aeroplan announced this week that Virgin Australia is the latest airline to join its global network of partners. Starting January 19th, Aeroplan members will be able to earn and redeem Aeroplan miles on flights operated by Virgin Australia.
This is a terrific addition, in my view, as Australia has long been a key 'blind spot' in Aeroplan's network.
Few airlines have been as deeply affected by the COVID pandemic as Virgin Australia; after its purchase and restructuring during 2020, VA no longer flies long-haul, and operates only domestic flights within the Australia/South Pacific region. Meanwhile, Air Canada appears on track to resume its services to Sydney and Brisbane in the post-COVID world, but it's too soon to tell exactly when that will be.
As a result of this new partnership, Aeroplan members can now connect (for example) from Air Canada's Sydney and Brisbane hubs, onto VA flights throughout Australia, following Aeroplan's standard partner-pricing chart for the "North America to Pacific" region:
For flights entirely within the Pacific region (Within Australia, or Australia to/from New Zealand, the South Pacific and Asia), the "within Pacific" chart applies as follows:
Flights can be booked online at aircanada.com, or via the call center. As with all other Aeroplan partners under the new system, no carrier surcharges will apply, but Aeroplan will charge its (new) standard $39 CAD partner-booking fee.
I'll be jumping on this one for personal travel in the near future, as my wife and I have been looking forward to an Ottawa-Vancouver-Sydney-Perth-Singapore-Tokyo-Toronto-Ottawa trip in early 2022, that will now price out regularly at 210,000 points per person for round-trip business class Ottawa-Perth, plus 5,000 points for stop-overs in each of Sydney, Singapore and Tokyo.
...although depending on how the calendar unfolds, we might just fly Ottawa-Vancouver-Sydney-Perth return, and use the Latitude Trick to do it for less!