China Airlines has confirmed its intention to join the SkyTeam network in mid-2011.
The airline – the flag carrier of Taiwan – will follow in the footsteps of China Eastern which signed an agreement to join SkyTeam earlier this year.
“The inclusion of China Airlines in our network will solidify SkyTeam’s unrivalled presence in the Greater China market, a region that continues to experience significant economic growth,” explained SkyTeam chairman Leo van Wijk.
“In addition to the services provided by our existing members, China Airlines offers an extensive cross-strait operation, linking Taiwan to multiple major destinations in China. Also, Taipei will serve as an alternative Asian hub with services to and from key business destinations in the region.”
Headquartered in Taipei, China Airlines is the largest airline of Taiwan.
The addition of the airline to the alliance will allow SkyTeam to build on the position of China Southern, solidifying its presence in Greater China.
“Joining SkyTeam is a long-term development strategy for China Airlines, and for many years we have been actively promoting various types of cooperation with SkyTeam member airlines with this objective in mind,” added China Airlines chairman Philip Wei.
SkyTeam hopes to expand its regional network in the region.
Out of the 93 international routes, China Airlines will bring four new destinations to the network; Okinawa, Miyazaki, Surabaya and Palau.