Star Alliance has expanded its presence in China by signing a new partnership with Juneyao Airlines, the Shanghai-based carrier.
Effective 2017, Juneyao will become a “Connecting Partner” of Star Alliance, which will enable it to coordinate its operations with other alliance carriers, including 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.
“Juneyao Airlines is proud to play its role in enlarging the Star Alliance network offer through Shanghai’s two airports. We look forward to welcoming connecting passengers from Star Alliance on our airline in the near future. We offer 53 additional routes which will complement Star Alliance’s existing services from Shanghai and will no doubt attract more connecting passengers to our two home hub airports”, said Wang Junjin, chairman of Juneyao.
Star said that work has now commenced to establish the necessary technological and commercial links with Juneyao, with connectivity expected to be available during the second quarter 2017.
The 17 full Star Alliance members currently flying to Shanghai are: Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana, Austrian, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, Lufthansa, SAS, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines.