Lufthansa, Air China form joint venture

Photo by Christopher Halloran
Photo by Christopher Halloran

Lufthansa and Air China have signed a new joint venture agreement that will see the two carriers team up on flights between Europe and Asia.

During German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s state visit to China, Lufthansa’s chairman Carsten Spohr and Song Zhiyong, president and executive director of Air China, penned a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) expanding the scope of their commercial partnership.

According to Lufthansa, the joint venture will provide opportunities for “additional travel options and flight connections”, as well as combined aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services.

“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,” Spohr said at a signing ceremony in Beijing on Monday.

As members of the Star Alliance, Lufthansa and Air China have partnered for several years, but the new MoU paves the way for the creation of an official commercial joint venture.

Similar to Lufthansa’s existing Japanese joint venture with ANA, which started in 2012, this arrangement will enable the two carriers to coordinate schedules, flights and fares, as well as sharing revenue on flights between Germany and China.

The new partnership should come into force at the start of the winter schedules in late October 2014.

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