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Six Chinese Airlines Allied

Six Chinese local airlines have recently allied to better compete in an increasingly fierce market.

The newly established alliance, China Sky Aviation Enterprises Group, includes Shandong Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Wuhan Airlines and China Post Airlines.

It is expected that member airlines will seek to expand co-operation but will remain independent corporate bodies.

They want to operate joint air routes, link their routes to facilitate transfers, jointly develop an e-commerce platform, cross-agent and co-operation in ground services, and share airplanes and other resources. Soon, the members will begin code-sharing on major routes and develop cargo post services.

The group now owns nearly 100 planes and operates over 500 routes. It handled more than eight million passengers and earned a profit of some US$ 1 billion in 2000, accounting for 12 percent and 35 percent of the national total, respectively.

The latest round of mergers and acquisitions in the industry has further reduced the number of local airlines to less than 10. Besides the Sky Aviation, Hainan Airlines and Xinhua Airlines have also entered an alliance.

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