BEIJING, June 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- China Eastern and its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines officially joined the SkyTeam global airline alliance at a ceremony held in Beijing today. In welcoming these Shanghai-based airlines, SkyTeam cements its position as the region's leading airline alliance, offering 10% more daily departures to and from the Greater China region. China Eastern becomes the 14th airline to join SkyTeam, which is expected to grow to 19 members by 2012.
China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines bring 32 new destinations to SkyTeam's global network, including Chinese cities such as Jiayuguan, the pass of the famous Silk Road. New international destinations are Macau and Colombo. The alliance continues to grow its presence in the Greater China region, one of the world's most economically dynamic, with China Airlines set to join later this year.
"We are delighted to welcome China Eastern and its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines into SkyTeam and honored that they have chosen this platform for joint growth," said Michael Wisbrun, SkyTeam's Managing Director. "With these additions, we firmly solidify our position as the #1 alliance for the Greater China region. And while we further build on completing our geographical network coverage, our members will work together to enhance alliance-wide benefits for our customers."
China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines will be included in all SkyTeam global deals offered to clients, benefiting corporate customers and offering increased opportunities for trade and commerce between this region and the rest of the world.
Effective immediately, China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines' passengers can earn and redeem frequent flyer miles when flying on all services operated by SkyTeam member airlines. Members of other SkyTeam airlines' frequent flyer programs can also earn and redeem miles when traveling on China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines-operated flights. Frequent flyers can also benefit from access to more than 465 lounges worldwide, including those offered by China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines at Shanghai's Pudong and Hongqiao airports.
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 465 lounges worldwide. The fourteen members are: Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, TAROM and Vietnam Airlines. SkyTeam offers its 474 million annual passengers a worldwide system of over 14,000 daily flights to 921 destinations in 168 countries.