The Australian Competition and Customer Commission (ACCC) has authorised closer cooperation between Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane Int'l) and Virgin Atlantic (VS, London Heathrow) on flights between Australia and the United Kingdom and Ireland via Los Angeles Int'l, Hong Kong Int'l, and any other future connecting points.

"The arrangements which have been authorised will not lessen competition on any route, and are likely to provide public benefits, including through improved scheduling and enhanced loyalty program benefits,” ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said.

The authorisation will remain in force through November 30, 2024.

The ACCC pointed out that despite their shared branding, the two Virgin airlines are fully separate businesses. Their networks do not overlap at this moment "and are unlikely to do so in the future", according to the Commission.

The airlines have been authorised to further their existing code-share cooperation through measures such as jointly managing prices, inventory, and marketing strategies.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, Virgin Atlantic currently code-shares on services from Hong Kong to Sydney Kingsford Smith (5x weekly) and Melbourne Tullamarine (6x weekly) operated by Virgin Australia, as well as from Los Angeles to Brisbane Int'l (5x weekly), Melbourne (5x weekly), and Sydney (5x weekly) operated by Virgin Australia International. In turn, Virgin Australia places its code on 2x daily services from Los Angeles and daily from Hong Kong to London Heathrow operated by the British airline. Virgin Atlantic also places its code on domestic services in Australia operated by Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional.