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BEIJING, July 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- During German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel's state visit to China, Song Zhiyong, President & Executive Director of Air China Limited and Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing to expand the scope of the strategic partnership between their companies.
Song Zhiyong, President & Executive Director of Air China Limited and Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, signed a memorandum of understanding on a passenger joint venture cooperation to enhance the strategic partnership, during the Chancellor's visit to China.
President Song Zhiyong said at the signing of the memorandum of understanding on 7 July in Beijing, "Air China's endeavour to become a global network carrier will not be successful without alliance and cooperation with our partners. The future joint venture cooperation with Lufthansa will facilitate Air China's efforts in expanding international route network while enabling us to achieve win-win results and provide more travel choices and convenience to our passengers."
"We are delighted that, together with Air China, we will be able to offer our customers, particularly those in Europe and China, even better flight connections and services in the future," said Mr. Carsten Spohr. "Thanks to strategic partnerships with leading airlines, the Lufthansa Group airlines now connect the world's four largest economies even better."
In the summer season of 2014, Air China and Lufthansa have a joint capacity input of 81 flights per week on the Sino-German routes. As of today, Air China and Lufthansa have been codesharing on all their flights between China and Germany. Meanwhile, with the domestic and third-country codeshare, Air China and Lufthansa are able to expand network access to 9 points in China and Germany respectively as well as destinations in Zurich, Spain and Brazil, etc. This new joint venture with Lufthansa will also offer customers of both airlines a product range that is more varied and can be combined more flexibly. This provides additional travel options and flight connections. The new partnership agreement should come into force in two phases as early as the start of the winter flight timetable in late October 2014. Both companies also signed a memorandum of understanding to expand collaboration in the area of maintenance, repair and overhaul services.
As the largest air carrier between China and Europe, Air China has been expanding its route network covering the whole Europe. As of today, Air China owns 23 flight routes between China and Europe with 194 flights per day, reaching 19 major cities in Europe including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Vienna, Rome, Moscow, and Madrid, etc. In 2013, Air China transported 1.95 million passengers between China and Europe with an average load factor of over 80%. Based on a strong and balanced global network with Beijing as a hub, and especially since it joined the Star Alliance in 2007, Air China is able to connect passengers to 1328 airports in 195 countries. The joint venture partnership with Lufthansa marks another important step in the globalization process of Air China and will provide passengers with more flight connections and travel convenience.