XIAMEN, China, Nov. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, today welcomes China's Xiamen Airlines as its 19th member. Xiamen Airlines is also the fourth member from Greater China. The airline strengthens SkyTeam's footprint in China and its overall #1 position in the Greater China Region by adding three new hubs - Xiamen, Fuzhou and Hangzhou – combined with a comprehensive domestic and growing international network.
China's sixth largest carrier, Xiamen Airlines is also one of the world's most profitable, having posted positive financial results for 26 consecutive years. The airline flies more than 15 million passengers annually to more than 50 cities including Macau, Hong Kong and Taipei. Founded in 1984, it is headquartered in the coastal city of Xiamen in the dynamic province of Fujian. This area of China boasts a thriving and diverse industrial economy as well as a growing tourism market.
Xiamen Airlines' fast expanding international network includes Southeast and Northeast Asia and the airline has announced plans to launch flights to Europe, North America and Australasia by 2014 after the introduction of the Boeing 787. SkyTeam membership offers Xiamen Airlines' customers greater connectivity onto international routes from China operated by other alliance members. This includes carriers from the region: China Airlines, China Eastern and China Southern, and nine additional SkyTeam airlines: Aeromexico, Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, Delta, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines.
"By joining SkyTeam, Xiamen Airlines opens up the world to its passengers. And today we also strengthen SkyTeam's footprint in China," said Michael Wisbrun, SkyTeam's managing director. "Greater China remains a priority region for our alliance. Xiamen Airlines will join our members China Southern, China Eastern and China Airlines in developing customer-focused initiatives for the region."
"Membership of SkyTeam will enable us to deliver enhanced customer benefits as we diversify and grow our network and this is key to the success of our new international routes," said Che Shanglun, President and CEO of Xiamen Airlines. "Our passengers can anticipate exciting new destinations while we look forward to a future of cooperation with our alliance partners."
In keeping with SkyTeam's focus on enriching the customer experience, Xiamen Airlines has also started rolling out SkyPriority, SkyTeam priority airport services for SkyTeam Elite Plus, First and Business Class passengers worldwide. Effective immediately, Xiamen Airlines' customers will be able to earn and redeem miles on services operated by all SkyTeam member airlines. Members of other SkyTeam airlines' frequent flyer programs can also earn and redeem miles when flying on Xiamen Airlines-operated flights.
SkyTeam passengers traveling to China will be able to fly on Xiamen Airlines flights as part of SkyTeam's Go Round the World and Go Greater China Passes, giving them even more options to enjoy flexible, cost-effective travel globally and throughout the region.
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 access to 525 lounges worldwide. The nineteen members are: Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, 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, Middle East Airlines, Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines and Xiamen Airlines. SkyTeam offers its 552 million annual customers over 15,000 daily flights to 1,000 destinations in 187 countries.
www.skyteam.com / www.facebook.com/skyteam / www.youtube.com/user/skyteam
About Xiamen Airlines
Xiamen Airlines, based in Southeastern China and established on July 25, 1984, operates over 220 routes from its main hubs in Xiamen, Fuzhou and Hangzhou, covering most major and medium-sized cities in Greater China (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) as well as main cities in Southeast and Northeast Asia. Xiamen Airlines is the only Chinese airline who operates a fleet of solely Boeing aircraft. Currently the airline operates a fleet of 86 aircraft, carrying 15.2 million passengers. According to the next five-year plan, by 2015 Xiamen Airlines will own 136 aircraft (including 6 B787s), carrying over 30 million passengers. Xiamen Airlines is full member of the SkyTeam alliance since November 2012.