Lufthansa Group and Air China in joint venture
The Lufthansa Group and Air China have signed a wide-reaching partnership agreement that will enable the two aviation groups to jointly operate all connections between Europe and China as part of a commercial joint venture.
The joint venture aims to significantly expand their mutual code-sharing connections and enhance their commercial partnership, allowing Lufthansa to continue pursuing its partnership-driven Asia strategy. The carrier already has joint venture deals with Japanese airline All Nippon Airlines (ANA) and Singapore Airlines.
Carsten Spohr, chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said: “As the flag carrier, Air China is the ideal partner for the Lufthansa Group in the People’s Republic of China. This groundbreaking joint venture will fundamentally strengthen our competitive position on routes between Europe and China.
“The significantly enhanced partnership will enable us to create additional benefits for customers. The Chinese aviation market is one of the most important growth markets worldwide. We want to profit from this growth together with our Star Alliance partner Air China.”
Cai Jianjiang, chairman of Air China, said: “The Joint Venture with Lufthansa and the Lufthansa subsidiaries Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines is another major steps of Air China’s globalization strategy following Air China’s accession into Star Alliance in December 2007.
“Both parties can further strengthen our overall competitive edge in both China and Europe. Under the Joint Venture framework, we will further expand network coverage in China and Europe, enhance the flight connections in beyond markets and optimize flight schedules, enabling us to bring more and flexible flight choices, favorable fare products and seamless travel experiences.”
The Lufthansa Group’s joint venture with the flag carrier of the People’s Republic of China is particularly significant as it strengthens the German airline’s presence in the second-most important aviation market in the world.
Lufthansa Group and Air China also plan to cooperate more closely in the future, with flight timetables better coordinated to give customers more convenient connections.
In addition to Lufthansa and Air China, the agreement extends to the Lufthansa subsidiaries Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines.
The expanded code-sharing connections will enable Air China’s customers to conveniently travel on more code-sharing routes to/from various destinations in Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland via the Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Vienna hubs. In turn, Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines will gain access via Air China to additional routes in China, the second-biggest aviation market in the world. Further destinations are set to be added soon as part of code-sharing.
The commercial joint venture is scheduled to commence at the start of the 2017 summer flight timetable.