Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Air China Ltd. have signed a cooperation agreement that will enable the Star Alliance members to take on competition from the rival Skyteam partnership on China-Europe routes and boost earnings, the companies said.
The flag carriers of Germany and China said they plan to increase coordination on flight schedules and expand code-sharing on China-Europe flights when the venture takes off next year.
The venture is pending regulatory approval in Europe and China. The agreement follows two years of negotiations and is aimed at giving Lufthansa and Air China a better grip on China-Europe routes to expand their market leads on these destinations. Air France-KLM Group has joint ventures with rival Skyteam alliance partners China Southern Airlines Co. and China Eastern Airlines Corp. that involve timetable harmonization and cost- and revenue-sharing on some routes.
The Lufthansa Group is a global aviation group with a total of 540 subsidiaries and equity investments. In 2015, the Lufthansa Group generated revenue of EUR 32.1 billion and employed an average of 119,559 staff.
Air China Limited is the flag carrier airlines of the People´s Republic of China, with its headquarters in Shunyi District, Beijing. Air China´s flight operations are based at Beijing Capital International Airport.