Air China and Shanghai Airlines have formally joined Star Alliance at a ceremony held in the new Terminal Three at Beijing Capital International Airport.With the addition of the two Chinese airlines, Star Alliance now has 19 member carriers operating 17,000 daily flights to 897 destinations in 160 countries, offering international travellers more choice than any other airline alliance.
On domestic routes alone, Air China and Shanghai Airlines have added more than 40 new destinations to the Star Alliance network, thereby bringing alliance benefits to many more travellers.
“China is one the fastest growing aviation markets in the world and as of today, with Air China and Shanghai Airlines now formally Star Alliance member airlines, we offer an unrivalled network of flight connections to, from, and within this market for international travellers”, said Jaan Albrecht, CEO Star Alliance.
Air China is China’s national flag carrier and sole designated passenger airline partner of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Air China was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange on December 15, 2004. Its operational head office is in Beijing, the capital of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and an important aviation hub for domestic and international flights. It also provides airline-related services, including aircraft maintenance, ground services and in-flight catering services in Beijing, Chengdu and other locations through its own business units and joint ventures.
Air China Chairman Mr. Li Jiaxiang said: “This is a historical moment. The world’s fastest growing, and largest airline alliance - Star Alliance - has arrived in the world’s fastest growing, and largest country - China. By becoming a member of Star Alliance China’s premier airline, Air China, is set to undergo many years of strategic co-operation with a large group of the world’s leading airlines.”
Shanghai Airlines is China’s first commercial airline with multiple investments. It was the first Chinese airline to list on the stock exchange and issued A Shares in 2001.
Shanghai Airlines Chairman Mr. Zhou Chi said: “We are very excited that Shanghai Airlines can from now on serve as a bridge between China and the world via its Shanghai hub by joining Star Alliance. Star Alliance can broaden its network to cover China. Shanghai Airlines can expand its network to reach more points around the world and deliver higher quality services and more rewards to its customers. By joining Star Alliance we believe Shanghai Airlines has a brighter future ahead of it.”