Velocity chief eyeing 'mindful' Virgin frequent flyer growth

Neil Thompson says expansion of Virgin's loyalty program will strike right balance.

Velocity Frequent Flyer chief executive Neil Thompson denies he is ramping up Virgin Australia Holding Ltd's loyalty program simply to keep up with the successes of its competitors, The Australian reports.

According to the newspaper, Virgin's Velocity program added an estimated half a million members last year, pushing the total number of members past 3.7 million - still less than half the size of Qantas' Frequent Flyer scheme.

"We've set ourselves a target of 5 million by 2015, which I think we'll hit, and even at 3.7 million this makes us one of the biggest loyalty programs in the country when you think of the other programs that are out there," Mr Thompson told The Australian.

"Scale is good in some respects, but we're also mindful that there's always this balance between the number of members you have and the number of seats that they're chasing.

"So one of our biggest strengths at the moment is actually availability. It's demonstrably easier to get seats on both us and our partners so we're seeing strong growth in redemption."

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