Virgin Australia said the alliance is an important strategy to increase competition Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P In an effort to offer customers an enhanced travel experience Virgin Australia has today announced plans to expand its alliance with Skywest Airlines.The partnership will offer corporate customers a single solution for their air travel needs, including scheduled and charter services to regional, domestic and international destinations. Virgin Australia and Skywest received interim approval from the ACCC for the expanded alliance, which would enable the two airlines to jointly contract with corporate customers. Virgin Australia Group Executive of Commercial Liz Savage said the agreement would improve the airline’s ability to meet the growing demand from the resources and mining industries. “By working more closely with Skywest we will be able to provide integrated travel solutions that are tailored to the individual needs of corporate customers,” Ms Savage said.“This will mean a range of benefits including more competitive pricing, enhanced flight connections and a higher quality overall travel experience.“We will also be able to extend our Velocity Frequent Flyer program to Skywest’s charter services, meaning joint corporate customers can earn frequent flyer Points and Status Credits on those services and access preferred seating, priority check-in and Virgin Australia lounges.”Ms Savage added that the alliance is an important part of the airlines strategy to increase competition in the Australian corporate travel market. The ACCC’s interim approval will allow Virgin Australia and Skywest to begin working together on the new alliance immediately.