Accor Asia Pacific and China National Aviation Holding Company (Air China) and its affiliate, China National Aviation Holding Travel Service Company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
Accor and Air China will join forces in sales and marketing activities, such as frequency programs, packaging of product, key account sharing, and market research.
In addition, the parties will look at extending the partnership to hotel management and co-branding to promote the two groups’ brands in both the domestic and international markets. Accor will also be appointed the official hotel partner to provide accommodation for Air China crewmembers around the world.Ê
The agreement follows Accor’s announcement that it would open nine new hotels before the end of 2004 to increase its China network to over 30 hotels under the Sofitel, Novotel, Zenith, Century and Ibis brands.
China National Aviation Holding Company was established in October 2002 by the merger of Air China and China Southwest Airlines. In addition to passenger services, China National Aviation has built a network of over 20 hotels across the country, as well as a strong presence in travel industry services and freight forwarding.
Commenting on the signing, Accor Asia Pacific Chairman, David Baffsky, said the agreement reflected the importance that Accor placed on China in its future development strategy.
“China has a rapidly developing domestic market and, equally important, its outbound market is one of the fastest growing in the world,” he said. “Accor is a natural partner for Air China because of our extensive global hotel network and our strength in the mid and economy sectors of the market, the most popular sectors for China travellers.”