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Air China and Air New Zealand Agree Strategic Alliance

2014-11-21 16:58 2985

BEIJING, Nov. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Air China and Air New Zealand have today signed a Statement of Intent that will pave the way for a strategic alliance on services between China and New Zealand.

Air China and Air New Zealand agree strategic alliance
Air China and Air New Zealand agree strategic alliance

 

The proposed alliance between the two national flag carriers and Star Alliance partners would see Air China operate a new direct Beijing - Auckland service in addition to Air New Zealand's existing Shanghai - Auckland service. The alliance remains subject to regulatory approval.

In addition to a new route, an alliance between the carriers would bring significant benefits to customers travelling in both directions including better network connections in both China and New Zealand and increased frequency of flights.

Air China CEO Song Zhiyong says Air China is committed to being a global hub carrier and alliances and partnerships are an important way to expand its international network.

"In the past three years we have witnessed double digit annual growth in the number of Chinese outbound tourists.

"New Zealand is one of the most important markets for outbound travel from China and Air China is confident about the promising future of this market, particularly considering the airline's close ties with Air New Zealand, an innovative airline full of vitality and dynamism."

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says a deeper bilateral agreement between the two airlines would help to facilitate both business and tourism links between the two countries.

"China is New Zealand's second largest inbound visitor market and we expect interest in visiting New Zealand to continue to grow amongst Chinese travellers.

"However, China remains a challenging market for us to operate to. Working with a strong, well respected home market carrier like Air China would give us a huge opportunity to convert this potential growth, while jointly offering the additional capacity to support it.

"New Zealand businesses and travellers would also benefit from a direct link to China's capital and tourist attractions of Beijing."

Following today's signing the airlines will progress discussions with a view to reaching an agreement early next year which can then be filed for regulatory approval.

About Air China

Air China Limited (Air China) is the national flag carrier of China and a leading provider of passenger, air cargo and airline-related services and products in China. Its operational headquarters is in Beijing, a major domestic and international hub in China. It also provides airline-related services, including aircraft maintenance, ground handling services in Beijing, Chengdu, and other locations. As at June 30, 2014, the Company operated a fleet of 316 aircraft with an average age of 6.28 years (excluding aircraft under wet leases). Passenger traffic routes have reached to 323 routes, including 79 international, 15 regional and 229 domestic routes. The Company's network covered 32 countries and regions globally and 162 cities, including 53 international, three regional and 106 domestic cities. Air China was listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange on December 15, 2004 under codes 00753 and AIRC respectively. On August 18, 2006, Air China was listed on Shanghai Stock Exchange under code 601111. For further details, please visit Air China's website: www.airchina.com.cn.

About Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is New Zealand's national airline providing air passenger and cargo transport services to 25 destinations within New Zealand, as well as to and from 27 international ports in Australia, the Pacific Islands, Asia, North America and the United Kingdom. The airline is well known globally for its innovation, including the award winning Economy Skycouch seating product and creative marketing and brand campaigns including renowned inflight safety videos which have been viewed online by tens of millions of people around the world. Air New Zealand recently became the first airline in the world to take delivery of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The airline has operated between Auckland and Shanghai since 2006 and recently welcomed the 787-9 to this route.

About Star Alliance:

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of 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 recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United. The integration of Avianca Brasil is currently in progress. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,316 airports in 192 countries.

For more information about Air New Zealand visit www.airnewzealand.com and for more information about Star Alliance visit www.staralliance.com.

Photo - http://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20141121/0861408787
Logo - http://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20141017/0861407509

Source: Air China
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