China Airlines Joins SkyTeam Alliance
Taiwanese flag carrier China Airlines on Tuesday announced the start of its joining process leading to full entry into the SkyTeam airline alliance in a process that is expected to be completed by mid-2011.
The announcement came just a few months after Shanghai-based China Eastern signed an agreement to join SkyTeam.
The China Airlines network will complement those of Guangzhou-based China Southern and China Eastern, current and future SkyTeam members.
“The inclusion of China Airlines in our network will solidify SkyTeam’s unrivaled presence in the Greater China market, a region that continues to experience significant economic growth,” said Leo van Wijk, Chairman of the SkyTeam Governing Board. “Taipei will serve as an alternative Asian hub with services to and from key business destinations in the region,” he added.
Out of the 93 international routes, China Airlines, founded in 1959, will bring four new destinations to SkyTeam; Okinawa, Miyazaki, Surabaya and Palau. The China Airlines network covers Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania, and will allow customers connect to flights of SkyTeam partners worldwide.
The company serves 93 destinations in 28 countries operating 66 aircraft, including 46 passenger jets and 20 freighters. The average age of China Airlines’ fleet is 7.9 years.