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China Airlines eying regional alliance with Chinese carriers

2012/06/13 21:14:33

Taipei, June 13 (CNA) Taiwan's largest air carrier China Airlines (CAL) said Wednesday it is likely to form regional partnership with Chinese members of the global SkyTeam alliance.

The regional partnership may be established later this year with the aim of offering business travelers more incentives, CAL President Sun Hung-hsiang said.

The other air carriers would include China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines Co., which are already part of SkyTeam, and pending member Xiamen Airlines, all based in China, he said.

The partnership under SkyTeam's brand name would offer business travelers to and from China easier access to the cross-Taiwan Strait flight network, Sun said.

For instance, passengers could have more flexible flight arrangements and mileage benefits, he said.

They could also use the VIP lounges at domestic airports where any of the four airlines provides flight services -- a benefit that is not yet available to SkyTeam members, Sun said.

"It would be a smart strategy for us to cross feed our clients to each other," he said.

Sun said the regional alliance program would be a follow-up to the successful business relationship CAL has formed with SkyTeam.

The airline said both its passenger travel volume and revenue have surged by some 25 percent since it joined SkyTeam last September as its 15th member.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)