Star Alliance Chief Executive Board (CEB) unanimously approved (06-Jul-2011) the application of Shenzhen Airlines to join Star Alliance. With the approval, the alliance will formally start the integration process of Shenzhen Airlines into the alliance. Bringing the carrier into the alliance is part of a long-term strategy to expand the Star Alliance network into the future growth markets. Details include:
- Integration: The integration teams at Shenzhen Airlines and Star Alliance have already begun the work that needs to be completed before a new airline can join the Star Alliance network. Air China, which joined Star Alliance in Dec-2007 and is a majority shareholder in the airline, will be assisting in this process. The carrier is expected to join the alliance by the end of 2012;
- Network coverage: Shenzhen Airlines will add five new destinations to the Star Alliance network in China: Juzhou (Zhejiang Province), Linyi, Qinhuangdao, Shijiazhuang and Zhoushan;
- Shenzhen Airlines is the fifth largest airline in China operating from the fifth busiest airport in the country;
- Star Alliance's China presence: Air China has been part of the alliance since 2007. Shanghai Airlines was previously a member, but moved to SkyTeam last month following its merger with China Eastern Airlines. [more]
Shenzhen Airlines: "Joining Star Alliance will help Shenzhen Airlines in its mission to build on its strength of a well-known national carrier, while implementing its strategy of establishing itself as a strong brand across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond," Feng Gang, President. Source: Company Statement, 06-Jul-2011.
Air China: "As the mentor of Shenzhen Airlines, Air China will provide its full support and assistance in facilitating the success of Shenzhen Airlines' integration into the Star Alliance network by the end of 2012. Besides, Air China and Shenzhen Airlines will actively participate in Alliance activities and initiatives, and work closely together with all member airlines to achieve win-win cooperation," Kong Dong, Chairman. Source: Company Statement, 06-Jul-2011.