Song Zhiyong, president of Air China Limited; and Carsten Spohr, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, signing a partnership announcement between Air China and Lufthansa
AIR China and Lufthansa have entered into a commercial joint venture that will enable the two aviation groups to jointly operate all connections between Europe and China, building upon a MoU signed by the two entities in 2014.
As part of the new partnership, the two airlines will expand codesharing routes as well as implement flight timetable coordination and common fares at the start of the 2017 summer schedule.
The deal also extends to Lufthansa subsidiaries Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines.
“This ground-breaking 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,” said Carsten Spohr, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
“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,” he added.
For Air China customers, the expanded codesharing connections will enable them to more conveniently travel on routes to and 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 the Chinese national carrier to additional routes in China.
Lufthansa and Air China have plans to cooperate even more closely in the future, including to optimise their corporate initiatives and explore opportunities with regards to frequent flyer programmes. Further destinations will also be added as part of the deal.
This is Lufthansa’s third enhanced partnership in Asia, having entered into a joint venture with All Nippon Airlines and Singapore Airlines, signed in November 2015.