Virgin Australia has restarted its Velocity frequent flyer program despite still being in administration – indicating it could soon be flying as normal

Virgin Australia has indicated it will be flying again by September.
  • Virgin Velocity members will again be able to redeem their frequent flyer points from Friday.
  • A Virgin spokesperson has confirmed to Business Insider Australia the program has been unfrozen with members able to purchase domestic flights from September.
  • It comes as the airline itself — a separate company — remains in administration with a view to reemerge with new private investment in August.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Virgin Australia has given its biggest indication yet that the airline sees an end to its current bout of turbulence.

The airline has confirmed to Business Insider Australia that it will be allowing members of its Velocity rewards program to begin redeeming points again after it froze it just weeks ago.

“Velocity is pleased to resume offering Virgin Australia domestic flight redemptions for our members for travel to some of our most popular domestic redemption destinations from 1 September this year,” a spokesperson said.

The update, expected to be passed on to members this afternoon, comes as the airline itself — a separate company — remains firmly in the voluntary administration it entered last month.

In fact, it comes on the same day private investors had to finalise formal expressions of interest (EOI) in investing in the carrier, indebted to the tune of nearly $7 billion.

While Virgin Australia did not reveal the exact progress of the administration process, it did suggest the airline is confident of shoring up the capital it needs to begin flying as normal.

“At this stage, it is expected that the administration process will be finalised by, at the latest, mid-August 2020, although that date may change. Information will be made available at the Virgin Australia administration website, and there is a possibility that the administration process may mean there are changes to the flight schedule or availability,” the spokesperson said.

It’s understood there are at least three private equity firms ranking as the frontrunners to take a stake, as well as a late bid by the Queensland state government.

Despite its administration status and ongoing domestic travel restriction, Virgin Australia is currently completing around 10 domestic flights per day.

Queried as to how Velocity members can be confident in redeeming their points, Virgin said it would waive airline fees for changes or cancellations before 1 September, with any cancellations resulting in a full refund, minus booking and credit card fees.

Deloitte, which leads the administration process, is expected to release a statement on Friday afternoon revealing the status of the bidders.

Whoever it is, the beleaguered airline’s fate is beginning to look a little brighter.

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