Air China and German airline Lufthansa have pledged to form a joint venture partnership, comprising “better flight connections and services” for travellers.
The details haven’t yet been finalised, but will go further into the operations of the two airlines with collaboration in the areas of maintenance, repair and aircraft overhauls.
Carsten Spohr, Chairman and CEO of Lufthansa and Song Zhiyong, President and Executive Director of Air China, today signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing.
Expanding the scope of the airlines’ existing commercial partnership, the joint venture partnership agreement is tipped to kick in from late October 2014.
“Thanks to strategic partnerships with leading airlines, the Lufthansa Group airlines now connect the world’s four largest economies even better,” said Spohr at the signing.
Air China joined Star Alliance in 2007, and with almost 49 million passengers, it’s China’s biggest airline.
The airlines’ mutual Star Alliance membership already sees members of Lufthansa’s Miles & More and Air China’s PhoenixMiles able to earn and redeem miles on either airline.
Following Lufthansa’s existing joint venture partnerships with United Airlines, Air Canada and ANA, it also comes after Qantas’ joint venture with Emirates has been bedded down.
The latter saw comprehensive bilateral arrangements including codesharing, frequent flyer partnerships, service alignment and reciprocal lounge access for premium travellers.
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