Virgin Atlantic Airways (VS), arguably one of the most ardent airline supporters of the travel affiliate channel, has reinforced its commitment to U.S. based travel affiliates by announcing a new commission bonus program.  Effective immediately through June 22, 2009, Virgin Atlantic will pay an additional 2.5% – 3% commission or $25 (whichever is greater) on every ticket travel affiliates sell on the carrier.

The commission level is predicated on the number of tickets that the travel affiliate sells during the duration of this special promotion.  For example, the 2.5% commission level applies on each of the first 30 tickets sold; while the 3% level kicks-in with the sale of the 31st ticket.

This new promotion is an augmentation of Virgin Atlantic’s on-going “Still Red Hot” campaign, which celebrates the carrier’s 25th anniversary through a series of special promotions to travelers, travel agents and travel affiliates.  TravelDividends highlighted the complementary “Get More Britain For Your Buck” promotion with VisitBritain, which targets all three VS constituents, in yesterday’s Things I Think I Thinkpost.

No longer the upstart ‘British and Brash’ airline, Virgin Atlantic today offers non-stop service from Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco, and Washington DC to London (Heathrow and Gatwick Airports), as well as connecting service to an additional 18 destinations worldwide. The airline flies more than 30 aircraft and carries close to 6 million travelers a year.

Universally respected and renowned for its service – both in-flight and on the ground – Virgin Atlantic offers one of the top economy, super economy and business class products found on any airline.  After all, it was Virgin Atlantic that pioneered the in-flight masseuse, chauffeured limousine service from home or office to the airport and individual seat-back video screens to name several of the many service innovations Virgin Atlantic has brought to the airline industry since its inception in 1984.

And the airfares offered by VS during this promotional period are sure to attract a lot of interest from the value-driven U.S. travel consumer; for example, one-way US/London economy fares start as low as $239, Premium Economy from $554, and Upper Class (Virgin’s Business Class cabin) can be had for as little as $1,111!

Having just released their latest financial results, VS must be doing something right…actually, they must be doing a lot of things right, for the airline reported a doubling of pre-tax profits for the year ended February, from $55 million in 2007/2008 to $108 million. Contrast Virgin Atlantic’s performance to that of trans-Atlantic rival British Airways, which reported a few days earlier a record operating loss of $653.5 million (an astounding reversal from a year earlier profit of $1.4 billion), or, against the estimated $1.8 billion all the European airlines are expected to lose this year as a result of the collapse for demand in premium services in all major European markets.

TravelDividends thinks that U.S. based travel affiliates can benefit from Virgin Atlantic’s strong financial and consumer performance by signing-up for VS’ affiliate program, details of which can be found at Affiliate Future, the airline’s preferred affiliate network.

If any of our readers has worked with Virgin Atlantic – or its ‘sister’ airlines Virgin Blue or Virgin Australia – we’d appreciate hearing about your experiences.  Drop us an email and share your success stories with TD and our readers.  As always, your comments, insights and thoughts are very much appreciated!