Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines now form a single joint venture

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  • The four airlines are merging their two existing agreements to create a single joint venture;
  • A simplified and streamlined trip for 1,250,000 passengers carried on average per year via this global alliance;
  • Air France-KLM consolidate its position on the Chinese air transport market.

Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines have today announced in Amsterdam the merger of their existing joint venture agreements. The aim is to create even stronger links between the partners and offer customers smoother, seamless travel solutions.

By connecting the four airlines’ networks, the joint venture offers customers a wide choice of destinations connecting Europe (Paris and Amsterdam) to China (Beijing*, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Xiamen). Transfer and connection times are also optimized.

Air France-KLM customers can also earn Flying Blue Miles on all flights operated within this joint venture formed by the four airlines.

This extended joint venture marks an important step for Air France-KLM. Moreover, it contributes to strengthening the two airlines’ position on the Chinese air transport market, which continues to grow. Every year, the four airlines – Air France, KLM, China Southern and Xiamen Airlines – carry some 1,250,000 passengers between Europe and China on their joint-operated routes.

Pieter Elbers, KLM President & CEO, stated: “In 2016 we celebrated 10 years joint venture between KLM and China Southern, today we merge the existing two joint ventures into one. I’m proud of this joint venture because it serves to further intensify Air France-KLM’s interests in China. Joining forces offers our customers an extensive, seamless network within China and Europe.

Patrick Alexandre, Executive Vice President Commercial, Sales and Alliances, Air France-KLM added: “We are proud to pursue our cooperation with China Southern and Xiamen Airlines by combining the existing joint-ventures. Our single joint venture will at the same time preserve the benefits our customers enjoy and safeguard Air France-KLM’s position in China.

Beyond the joint venture, the airlines closely cooperate in other areas, notably in airport handling, catering and aircraft maintenance services. For example, Air France-KLM Engineering & Maintenance carries out engine maintenance for Xiamen Airlines’ Boeing 787 fleet. More closely-integrated partnerships are also being discussed in other areas, such as aircraft maintenance, or cargo operations.

A global joint venture between Europe and China

Since 2006, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and China Southern Airlines have been operating a joint venture on the Amsterdam-Beijing service. In 2015, Xiamen Airlines joined this joint venture on the Amsterdam-Xiamen route. In 2010, France formed a partnership with China Southern Airlines to also create a joint venture on the Paris-Guangzhou route. These agreements are currently combined to form a single joint venture between Europe and China.

(*) Only from/to Amsterdam-Schiphol.

Meanwhile, China Southern is exploring a joint venture with British Airways (UK) for flights between the Asian country and the UK. The two are discussing special pro-rate agreements, flight connections from London to cities including Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as to some African cities.

 

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