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Star Alliance member Air New Zealand have announced plans to offer daily flights into China, these plans are likely to come into effect in under 12 months from now.
The air carrier has outlined plans to consolidate its flights into Shanghai and also will seek to offer a service to Beijing; this will be in conjunction with fellow code sharer and Star Alliance partner, Air China.
It is though that the expansion of routes into China will assist with the long term growth of ANZ, as the flights will go into China’s most modern and populated cites.
The focus will switch away from Beijing after June 30th, when ANZ will suspend its twice weekly service; this will allow the company to develop and grow the Shanghai service. Mr Christopher Luxon, Air New Zealand Group General Manager reported that Air New Zealand still considered Beijing to be an important and growing market and the Air China code share arrangement provides convenient connections between Shanghai and Beijing in both directions.
Daily Shanghai service
Earlier this month ANZ recruited an experienced airline executive, Sandeep Bahl took up a new role as head of Asian operations for the air carrier; the hope is that Bahl can help to develop the huge potential of the Shanghai market. There are over 14 million people in the Shanghai region and Bahl will concentrate his efforts into ensuring that the company offers a daily service to and from this important China gateway.
Luxon went on to add that, “they had been operating flights to mainland China for over 5 years and that ANZ were fully committed to the potential of the market in the long term.”
Bahl has a vast amount of aviation experience and has previously headed up operations for Delta Airlines in China and Hong Kong. His local expertise will prove invaluable in ANZ quest to provide additional services in and out of the Chinese region.
Star Alliance increases members
This travel news comes at the time that the Star Alliance board voted to allow Eva Air to join its ranks, the decision backs up the Alliance’s strategy of finding new partners that will help to provide access to new regions that show strong economic potential and development.
Star Alliance was founded nearly fifteen years ago and has constantly built on their presence in the Asia/Pacific region and by mid-2013 they will have eight member based carriers in this region.
The addition of Eva Air will mean that both Kaohsiung in Taiwan and Surabaya in Indonesia will be added to the Alliance’s unique airports. Taiwan is a great fit for Star Alliance as it represents the shortest average distance to all major cities in the Asia/Pacific region. In total the network will feature 30 members; these members will provide daily access of over 22,000 flights into 191 different countries, serving more than a total of 1,340 destinations.
The integration work will now begin which will allow Eva Air to join the powerful network; China Air will be acting as a mentor to assist in this process.