TAIPEI, Taiwan, Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, today welcomed China Airlines as its 15th member at a joining ceremony held in Taipei. The flag carrier of Taiwan and one of the world's leading cargo carriers, China Airlines becomes the first Taiwanese airline to join SkyTeam and cements the alliance's #1 position in the Greater China region.
From its hub in Taipei, one of Asia's strongest economies, China Airlines operates a diverse passenger and cargo network throughout the wider Asia pacific region, North America and Europe, with a total of 224 daily departures to 80 destinations worldwide. The new member also brings three new destinations to the SkyTeam network: Okinawa and Miyazaki, Japan; and Surabaya, Indonesia.
Extensive choice of destinations in the Greater China region
China Airlines complements the network of existing members, China Southern and China Eastern, and offers an extensive cross-strait operation to 20 major destinations in China. This provides SkyTeam customers with an unrivalled choice of travel options in the Greater China region.
"Thanks to excellent links to a number of existing SkyTeam hubs, China Airlines' membership adds value to the alliance for both passengers and cargo customers," said Michael Wisbrun, SkyTeam's Managing Director. "Adding a quality brand from a strong economic region will support SkyTeam's focus on our top priority- enhancing our products and services for our customers worldwide."
"Joining SkyTeam is an integral part of our strategy for increased international growth and profitability," said China Airlines' Chairman, Mr. Chia-Juch Chang. "Today's milestone is a momentous occasion in our history and we look forward to a future of cooperation and collaboration with our SkyTeam partners, bringing greater benefits to our distinguished passengers."
Effective immediately, China Airlines customers will be able to earn and redeem miles on all services operated by SkyTeam member airlines. Members of other SkyTeam airlines' frequent flyer programs can also earn and redeem miles when flying on any China Airlines operated flight. China Airlines will be included in all SkyTeam global deals, particularly benefiting corporate clients with business interests in Taiwan.
Refreshed China Airlines brand
While including the SkyTeam brand within its identity, China Airlines has also completely refreshed its brand image. The 'Plum Blossom' trademark and 'Chinese Seal' have been integrated, promoting China Airlines' corporate identity in a simple, harmonized and modern design. The new logo will soon feature on all signboards, bulletins and travel products for passengers worldwide. China Airlines is also the first SkyTeam member airline to fly a Boeing 747-400 in SkyTeam livery colors. The aircraft was unveiled during the festivities at today's ceremony.
SkyTeam is a global airline alliance providing customers from member airlines access to an extensive global network with more destinations, more frequencies and more connectivity. Passengers can earn and redeem Frequent Flyer Miles throughout the SkyTeam network. SkyTeam member airlines offer customers over 490 lounges worldwide. The fifteen members are: Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, TAROM and Vietnam Airlines. SkyTeam offers its 487 million annual customers globally over 14,500 daily flights to 926 destinations in 173 countries.