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Virgin Australia books five more years with Aussie rules top-flight

Virgin Australia, Australia’s second-largest airline after Qantas, has extended its Official Airline Partner deal with the Australian Football League (AFL) for another five years until the end of 2023.

The brand has been the AFL’s airline partner since 2010, transporting the 18 clubs, their teams and fans across the country.

The new deal includes the AFL women’s competition for the first time – giving both the men’s and women’s leagues access to Virgin Australia services and benefits, including baggage allowances, lounge access and AFL team travel solutions.

The AFL is an important driver of domestic and international tourism in Australia. It has the highest attendance of any sports league in Australia, with over seven million fans having attended games so far this year.

Virgin Australia’s parent company’s is Virgin Australia Holdings, whose shareholders include Etihad Airways, HNA Group, Nanshan Group and Singapore Airlines.

Virgin Australia Holdings is separate from Virgin Atlantic, which is owned by Virgin Group (51 per cent) and Delta Airlines (49 per cent). In July 2017, Virgin Group sold a 31 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic to Air France-KLM.

Virgin Atlantic was a partner of Europe’s Ryder Cup team in 2004 and 2008, and has a two-season partnership with Premiership Rugby, which includes the promotion Premiership Rugby USA matches this year and next year