Singapore’s flag carrier and Virgin Australia have announced an ambitious new partnership.

The move will see the two carrier’s exchange codeshare routes, which include Virgin’s Australian domestic flights and long-haul flights across the globe via both airlines. Experts say the alliance is another blow to Australian flag-carrier Qantas, which is facing increased competition in a number of markets in addition to recent industrial action.

The tie-up will enable Virgin to continue moving forward in its current effort to win over a sizable share of the Australian business traveller market, which has for years been dominated almost exclusively by Qantas. Similarly SIA will extend its reach to numerous additional destinations around Australia.

According to a joint statement, Singapore Airlines will gain an additional 30 destinations whilst Virgin customers will have access to an additional 70 destinations worldwide.

The news immediately follows Qantas’ announcement that it had come to a tie-up agreement with Malaysia Airlines, enabling it to continue its Asian expansion efforts. Meanwhile, experts say that the SIA and Virgin deal paves the way for Virgin to enter Star Alliance, which hasn’t had an Australia-based member in more than a decade.

Passengers are able to book single-ticket itineraries on both carriers for travel beginning on the 1st of August and premium members of both airlines’ frequent flyer programs will be able to utilise either carrier’s premium lounges.