Lufthansa Group and Air China sign joint venture
This means that the two companies will successfully implement what they agreed to do as part of a memorandum of understanding in summer 2014.
The joint venture aims to significantly expand their mutual code-sharing connections and enhance their commercial partnership.
This will allow the Lufthansa Group to continue pursuing its partnership-driven Asia strategy. Following a joint venture with the Japanese airline All Nippon Airlines (ANA) and a joint venture with Singapore Airlines, which was signed in November 2015, this is now the Lufthansa Group’s third enhanced partnership in Asia.
The Lufthansa Group’s joint venture with the flag carrier of the People’s Republic of China is particularly significant as it clearly strengthens the presence of Lufthansa Group Airlines in the second-most important aviation market in the world.
Together with the Transatlantic trilateral joint venture partnership with United Airlines and Air Canada, the Lufthansa Group now covers the world’s most important intercontinental markets as part of its joint venture activities. As a result, around half of Lufthansa’s long-haul flights are covered by joint ventures, securing additional benefits for customers.
Lufthansa Group and Air China plan to cooperate more closely in the future. Their flight timetables will be better coordinated with each other, allowing them to provide customers with more convenient connections between their individual route networks.
They also plan to offer common fares, modify corporate programmes to improve the products available to corporate customers and examine the opportunities for optimisation with regard to existing connections in frequent flyer programmes.
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. ■