Improved travel options between the UK and Australia will be offered this summer through an expanded code share deal between Virgin Atlantic and sister carrier Virgin Australia.

Bookings open today for tickets on the ‘kangaroo route’ option connecting via Hong Kong onto Virgin Australia services through to Sydney with fares starting at £638 return.

The deal opens up more domestic options across Australia, including Cairns, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Hobart and the Gold Coast, operated by Virgin Australia.

The new codeshare is available on flights departing from July 2.

The Sydney service is in addition to Melbourne codeshare flights introduced earlier this year.

Passengers flying via Los Angeles are already able to fly onward to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane as part of the codeshare.

Virgin Atlantic runs up to three daily flights from Heathrow to Los Angeles with a further daily service to Hong Kong. Both routes are operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Virgin Australia operates up to 18 flights a week between Australia and Los Angeles using Boeing 777-300ERs plus daily services between Melbourne and Hong Kong.

Daily flights between Sydney and Hong Kong from July 2 will use Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Virgin Atlantic chief commercial officer, Shai Weiss, said: “We are pleased to announce the expansion of our partnership with Virgin Australia which means even more customers can travel around the world using only Virgin airlines.

“The new deal will create more travel options between the UK and Australia by giving customers the choice of connecting through Los Angeles or Hong Kong to Sydney, Melbourne and beyond.

“It also offers customers the security and ease of booking through a codeshare, as well as through check-in and a single bag drop for the entire journey.”

Virgin Australia Airlines group executive, Rob Sharp, added: “Virgin Australia is always looking for opportunities to provide more options to our customers and to improve the end-to-end travel experience.

“We are thrilled to be working with Virgin Atlantic to provide travellers with our renowned Virgin service and product all the way between Australia and the UK.”