Air China to get closer to United

(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2007-01-23 15:10
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The nation's flag carrierAir ChinaLtd said yesterday it plans to reinforce ties with United Airlines this year to reverse losses on Sino-United States routes.

The Chinese mainland's biggest international carrier expects to form a Sino-US air service alliance with United through codeshares and other efforts, which will help secure Air China's leadership in international service over its domestic rivals, theBeijing-based carrier said.

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"As United is the biggest carrier on the Sino-US route, we will have a combined market share of more than 70 percent if both carriers ally," said Cai Jianjiang, an Air China vice president. "This will allow us to have better control over the Sino-US air market."

Air China expects to codeshare with United on the upcoming Beijing-Washington, DC, direct service which is scheduled to begin in late March, said Rao Xinyu, an Air China securities unit official, adding that a final decision by United hasn't been made.

"We hope to reverse losses on Sino-US services with strengthened cooperation with United this year," Rao said, declining to elaborate.

"Both carriers have been involved in a strategic partnership since 2004, and Air China has already benefited from improved load factors," she said.

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