KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and the Chinese carriers China Southern and Sichuan Airlines are significantly expand cooperation. This will offer passengers flying with all three airlines noteworthy benefits in the form of new routes and additional frequencies in China and Europe, connecting flights between Amsterdam and Chengdu, Beijing and Shanghai.
With immediate effect, KLM now offers its passengers codeshare connections with Sichuan Airlines from its new Chengdu destination to the cities of Beijing, Chongqing, Kunming and Xian. Coupled with the two new nonstop flights between Amsterdam and Chengdu, the codeshare connection between Beijing and Chengdu now means that KLM passengers can connect daily to Chengdu via the Chinese capital. Both airlines intend to expand the number of codeshare destinations to be served by Sichuan in China for KLM passengers in the future.
Sichuan Airlines is a regional carrier in which China Southern holds a minority interest. The airline operates 23 modern Airbus aircraft, 5 ERJ regional jets and has placed orders for a further 20 Airbus aircraft.
With effect from June 23, 2006, KLM and China Southern will be expanding codeshare cooperation with new destinations and additional flight frequencies to existing destinations in China and Europe. KLM passengers will be able to choose from six new codeshare destinations in China served by China Southern from Beijing and Chengdu under a KL flight number. The new cities are Jinan, Nanning, Urumqi, Xining, Yanji and a further destination that has yet to be determined. In addition, KLM will operate codeshare service to six destinations served by China Southern from Chengdu, already served by China Southern from Beijing and Shanghai on the basis of the same codeshare principle. China Southern passengers will be able to choose from an additional ten European destinations served by KLM from Schiphol under a CZ flight number. Effective June 23 and based on the joint-venture model, codeshare cooperation between KLM and China Southern on the Amsterdam-Beijing route will include fourteen weekly frequencies making it possible for both airlines to utilize each other’s capacity optimally.
With support from KLM and other partner airlines, China Southern is currently preparing to join the SkyTeam alliance in 2007.
“Coupled with taking up the Chengdu destination in our route network, expanding cooperation with the Chinese carriers now means that KLM has taken two new steps on the Chinese map,” said KLM’s deputy CEO Peter Hartman.