SAS to get new Star Alliance partner in Shenzhen Airlines
“With the approval of our Chief Executive Board (CEB) we today formally start the integration process of Shenzhen Airlines, which upon completion will allow Star Alliance to once again enlarge its offer across Mainland China and neighbouring countries,” says Jaan Albrecht, CEO Star Alliance.
Bringing Shenzhen Airlines into Star Alliance is part of a long-term strategy to expand the alliance network into the future growth markets, thus providing the international traveller with optimal flight options. In the case of China, the foundation for this strategy was set many years ago, by those Star Alliance member carriers who have been successfully serving this market for several decades. As a result, the Alliance was able to welcome Air Chinainto the family in December 2007.
Albrecht added, “Shenzhen Airlines is the fifth largest airline in China operating from the fifth busiest airport in the country. In conjunction with Air China, we will be growing our customer offer especially in the southern part of China.”
The integration work will be supported by Air China, with the aim of completing the membership process by end of 2012. Shenzhen Airlines will add five new unique destinations to the Star Alliance network in China: Juzhou (Zhejiang Province), Linyi, Qinhuangdao, Shijiazhuang, and Zhoushan. Between now and the end of 2012, another four carriers are expected to have become Star Alliance members: Air India, Ethiopian Airlines, AviancaTACA and Copa Airlines. In total, the Star Alliance network will then encompass a total of 32 carriers, offering a choice of more than 23,000 daily flights to 1,315 destinations in 190 countries.
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About Star Alliance:
The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines,SingaporeAirlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAPPortugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. AirIndia, Avianca-TACA, Copa Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 21,000 daily flights to 1,160 airports in 181 countries.