Indian travellers will soon be offered greater air connectivity in China, after Shanghai’s Juneyao Airlines joined Air India in the Star Alliance.
Effective 2017, Juneyao will become a “Connecting Partner” of the alliance, which will enable it to coordinate its operations with other member carriers, including Air India, with connecting flights, lounge access and frequent flyer privileges.
While it will not be a full Star Alliance member, the addition of Juneyao will enable the group to enhance its connectivity in mainland China. Beijing-based Air China is already a Star Alliance member, so the presence of a Shanghai-based carrier will give Star a base in the country’s two largest cities and biggest aviation markets.
“Juneyao Airlines is a terrific addition to our network proposition in China and particularly in the Shanghai market,” said Mark Schwab, CEO of the Star Alliance. “Thanks to Juneyao’s expanding reach, our passengers will enjoy a wide choice of flight connections through our future partner to numerous Chinese metropoles and several international destinations.”
Currently 17 Star Alliance member airlines operate around 1,600 weekly services to and from Shanghai’s two airports – Pudong and Hongqiao – both of which are served by Juneyao. These airlines will now be able to coordinate their operations with Juneyao, which operates 1,700 weekly flights to 69 destinations in eight countries, using its fleet of 56 aircraft.
Air India operates five weekly flights between Delhi and Shanghai Pudong, using its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Flights also continue onwards between Delhi and Mumbai. Qualifying Air India frequent flyers are already able use the Air China lounge at Pudong Airport.
Juneyao will add 53 more routes to the Star Alliance network.