AMSTERDAM – SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, today formally accepted the joining of Xiamen Airlines into the alliance. China’s sixth largest airline, Xiamen Airlines begins the joining process leading to full entry into SkyTeam by the end of 2012, further strengthening the alliance offer in the flourishing southeast China region.
Based in Xiamen, a coastal city in East China’s Fujian province, Xiamen Airlines operates a network of domestic and regional services throughout China and Asia, predominantly from the hub airports of Xiamen, Fuzhou and Hangzhou. Fujian is one of the more prosperous provinces in China with diverse industries such as clothing, tea production and electronics. Tourism has seen very strong growth and is one of the highlights in the region’s economy.
While currently over 90% of the network is domestic, Xiamen Airlines’ goal is to boost its international traffic by expanding the network to serve major long-haul destinations in Australia, Europe and North America, starting in 2014. The integration of Xiamen Airlines into SkyTeam will be fully supported by major shareholder China Southern, the first Chinese airline that joined SkyTeam in 2007.
“SkyTeam has long recognized the region’s huge economic potential, resulting in our #1 position in Greater China. Xiamen Airlines’ membership in SkyTeam will strengthen our offer in the southeastern part of China and the cross-strait markets,” said SkyTeam Managing Director Michael Wisbrun. “And while we further capitalize on the expanding network, our members in China will work together to enhance alliance-wide benefits for our customers.”
“With the accelerated globalization of the world economy and China’s rapid economic development, Xiamen Airlines will further enhance its competitive edge in the coming years by becoming a first-class airline in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Xiamen Airlines President Che Shanglun. “Membership in SkyTeam will enable us to expand our intercontinental network offering, in cooperation with our partners in the alliance.”