QANTAS Airways (Sydney) and China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai) today (November 17) announced a new joint venture, marking the start of a deeper level of commercial cooperation on flights between Australia and China.
The airlines will now submit an application for authorization to Australian and Chinese regulators. Subject to regulatory approval, it is anticipated that the joint agreement will commence in mid-2015.
The five year agreement was signed today by QANTAS Group CEO Alan Joyce and China Eastern Chairman Liu Shaoyong at Parliament House, in a ceremony attended by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.
Under the agreement, the airlines will deliver substantial benefits for customers and support the growing trade, tourism and corporate travel links between Australia and China. It is designed to complement the QANTAS-Emirates partnership for Europe, Middle East and North Africa and the QANTAS-American Airlines partnership for the US.
Through the new partnership, the airlines hope to ultimately open up new routes between Australia and mainland China, such as between Brisbane and Perth to Shanghai.
A key benefit of the agreement will be the co-location of both carriers’ operations in Terminal 1 at Shanghai International Airport, which will cut transit times by about an hour, open up a better range of onward connections and provide more choice for customers.
Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group/AirlinersGallery.com. The first Boeing 737-800 to wear the new 2014 China Eastern brand is this 737-89P registered as B-5689 (msn 41512) passing through Honolulu on delivery on November 7, 2014.
China Eastern Airlines aircraft slide show: