New SkyTeam Members

CHINA EASTERN Airlines (CEA) and its subsidiary, Shanghai Airlines, officially joined the SkyTeam global alliance at a ceremony held in Beijing on June 21, 2011.  The two Shanghai-based carriers join China Southern Airlines, which joined SkyTeam in November 2007, to strengthen the group’s position as the number one alliance serving the Greater China region.  China Eastern is the 14th carrier to join SkyTeam, with Taipei-based China Airlines scheduled to join in September and Saudi Arabian Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Aerolineas Argentinas and Garuda Indonesia all expected to join SkyTeam in 2012.  “We are delighted to welcome China Eastern and its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines into SkyTeam and we are honoured that they have chosen this platform for joint growth,” said Michael Wisbrun, SkyTeam’s Managing Director.  He added that the alliance is also negotiating with Jet Airways and GOL to fill its void in the Indian and Latin American markets.
CEA’s General Manager, Ma Xulun, is predicting the carrier’s operating revenue will grow by more than CNY 1 billion ($154.4 million) owing to its alliance membership.  He added that SkyTeam would now hold a 32% share of passenger traffic in the Beijing market and a 53% share in Shanghai.