Star Alliance encouraging Virgin Blue to join

Virgin Blue’s CEO John Borghetti was in attendance at the Star Alliance CEOs meeting this week in Queenstown, New Zealand. This is actually encouraging news, and something I thought wasn’t in the cards since they ended their limited codeshare agreement with United Airlines back in 2009, and have since partnered up with Delta. This newer Delta/Virgin Blue relationship did receive an unexpected setback earlier this year, though, when the DOT said it would reject an anti-trust effort between the carriers. (In sort-of-related news, Flying With Fish brings up similarly messy legal issues for a proposed Virgin Atlantic/Delta Air Lines merger.)

So, given the legal struggles Virgin Blue is having with furthering their relationship with Delta here in the US, it would be incredibly welcome news if suddenly Virgin Blue joined Star. Borghetti was quoted at the Star meeting as saying:

We’ve got a lot on at the moment and we’re evaluating everything, and I mean everything, and certainly as we go forward we’ll see where that leads.

Selfishly, as a frequent traveler to Australia, I hope they join! The former codeshare agreement was extremely limited and only allowed you to earn mileage on United for a select few flights, not their entire schedule. In 2007, I ended up flying from Perth to Sydney on Qantas and credited that to my less-preferred American Airlines account because the Virgin offering didn’t match up with my schedule. Here are the cities served in Australia by Virgin Blue and its regional carriers:

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