United Airlines Passengers Will Soon Be Able to Fly to New Cities in Australia

Customers will be able to book flights to Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide thanks to United's partnership with Virgin Australia.

United Airlines is teaming up with Virgin Australia for a new codeshare partnership that will allow travelers to fly to more destinations on a single ticket.

The new agreement will add to United's current roster of direct flights to Australia, which it operates from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney. The airline also plans to resume direct service to Melbourne later in 2022.

Under the new partnership, United customers will be able to book flights to other Australian cities, including Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

United Airlines plane in flight
Courtesy of United Airlines

"The United States and Australia share a special bond and I'm especially proud that United was the only airline to maintain a vital link between these two countries throughout the pandemic," United CEO Scott Kirby said in a statement. "Looking ahead, Virgin Australia is the perfect partner for United. Our partnership provides considerable commercial value for both airlines and a shared commitment to offer the best travel experience for our customers."

The partnership, which the airline expects to roll out in early 2022, is subject to government approval.

In addition to new flight opportunities, United's MileagePlus and Virgin Australia's Velocity members will receive perks like priority check-in, priority boarding, priority security clearance, and lounge access when flying with either airline.

"We are grateful to have such a strong partner in United," Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said in the statement. "They have proudly been one of Australia's most loyal and long serving aviation partners and their market strength both to Australia and in the United States brings great value to our guests. We look forward to innovating together on behalf of our guests to ensure they have the very best travel experiences to over 90 destinations in the U.S."

The new partnership comes ahead of Australia's plans to welcome travelers back down under for the first time since the start of the pandemic, which the country expects to do next year. As of now, only some travelers, like Australian citizens and fully-vaccinated citizens from certain countries like Singapore, are permitted to enter without a quarantine.

Beyond the new agreement, United has been upgrading its passenger services, including partnering with PayPal for contactless in-flight purchases. And earlier this month, the carrier became the first commercial airline to fly a full passenger flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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