At a ceremony held in Shanghai, Star Alliance and Juneyao Airlines formally sealed a strategic partnership which will see the Shanghai based airline become a “Connecting Partner” of Star Alliance in 2017.
Under the Alliance’s innovative partnership concept, the airline will soon start offering services such as through-checkin, as well as Lounge access and other Priority privileges to qualifying passengers travelling on connecting itineraries with Star Alliance member airlines.
“Juneyao Airlines is a terrific addition to our network proposition in China and particularly in the Shanghai market”, said Mark Schwab, CEO Star Alliance.
“Thanks to Juneyao’s expanding reach, our passengers will enjoy a wide choice of flight connections through our future partner to numerous Chinese metropoles and several international destinations.”
Currently 17 Star Alliance member airlines are operating around 1,600 weekly services in and out of the two Shanghai airports, Pudong International and Hongqiao International, which are both served by Juneyao Airlines. With a fleet of 56 aircraft Juneyao Airlines provides more than 1,700 weekly flights to 69 destinations in eight countries and regions.
“Juneyao Airlines is proud to play its role in enlarging the Star Alliance network offer through Shanghai’s two airports. We look forward to welcoming connecting passengers from Star Alliance on our airline in the near future. We offer 53 additional routes which will complement Star Alliance’s existing services from Shanghai and will no doubt attract more connecting passengers to our two home hub airports”, said Wang Junjin, Chairman Juneyao Airlines.
“Since starting operations 10 years ago, Juneyao Airlines has earned a strong reputation in the Chinese market. Now it is ready for a further step on its successful growth path. From the beginning of our conversations we were impressed by the carrier’s professionalism and operational efficiencies”, adds Schwab.
The Connecting Partner Model is designed to allow airlines to connect to the Star Alliance network without having to become a full member. For customers this gives access to additional travel options beyond the current 1,300 airports served by the Alliance’s 28 member airlines. Connecting Partners are carefully selected and need to adhere to the high operating standards required by the Alliance.
Customers travelling on an itinerary which includes a transfer between a Star Alliance member airline and a Connecting Partner will be offered the standard Alliance benefits such as passenger and baggage through check-in. In addition, Star Alliance Gold status customers will enjoy a tailored set of privileges in line with the product offerings of the individual Connecting Partner.
Connecting Partners will enter into bilateral commercial agreements with selected Star Alliance member airlines, which may include Frequent Flyer Programme based privileges.
“Juneyao Airlines was founded with the aim of offering a competitive and high quality product to both the business and leisure market. It targets customers at middle to high level and creates a relaxing, respectful and professional experience that is unique to Juneyao Airlines. As a full-service carrier, the new strategy of the airline is to become an excellent representative of a High-Value Carrier. I am very happy that this has not gone unnoticed in the industry and that Star Alliance has decided to partner with us. We are looking forward to providing Star Alliance Gold Card holders with a wide selection of privileges when they connect to our airline”, Wang Junjin added.
Work has now commenced to establish the necessary technology and commercial links which will allow Juneyao Airlines to begin serving Star Alliance connecting passengers some time during the second quarter 2017.
The 17 Star Alliance member airlines flying to Shanghai are: Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana, Austrian, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, Lufthansa, SAS, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, Thai, Turkish Airlines and United.
Together they offer around 830 weekly domestic flights and 760 international flights, serving 62 destinations (26 domestic and 36 international) in 19 countries.