The new addition helps Star provide more options for its customers in the fertile Asian region, although its smaller competitor SkyTeam actually boasts more Chinese airlines.
Shenzhen Airlines today became the latest carrier to join the Star Alliance network. At a ceremony held at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, Mark Schwab, CEO Star Alliance, welcomed the airline into the family on behalf on the Alliance’s Chief Executive Board (CEB).
“Shenzhen Airlines is China’s fifth largest carrier and strengthens the Star Alliance presence in China and across Asia. Our customers now benefit from improved access throughout the economically important Pearl River Delta and across southern China. Shenzhen Airlines at the same time gains access to a global network with enhanced benefits for its passengers; truly a win-win situation,” said Mark Schwab.
Adding Shenzhen Airlines to the network is part of Star Alliance’s strategy of improving access to current and future growth markets, thus providing the international traveller with more destinations and flights. In the case of China, the foundation for this strategy was set many years ago, by those Star Alliance member carriers who have been successfully serving this market for several decades. In December 2007 the Alliance added China’s flag carrier Air China to the network.
Feng Gang, the president of Shenzhen Airlines said: “Today is filled with joy for all of us at Shenzhen Airlines. After 16 months of integration work, we have become a Star Alliance member. We know that today no single airline alone can tend to the needs of the international traveller. By joining Star Alliance we can now offer our customers global reach, while at the same time placing Shenzhen firmly on the map of world-wide air travel. We are proud to proclaim that Shenzhen Airport, serving the 4th largest city in China, is now the newest Star Alliance hub, from which we will make our mark not only in China, but across the Asia-Pacific region.”
Air China Chairman Wang Chengshun said: “As Shenzhen Airlines’ mentor, we are delighted to see that Shenzhen Airlines in the last 20 years has achieved substantial growth. We believe that Shenzhen Airlines will leverage alliance resources to improve its own competitiveness, and to realise its strategic target of being a large network carrier covering Asian and intercontinental destinations with its hub in Shenzhen”.
As a Star Alliance member, Shenzhen Airlines offers its customers access to a global network, along with seamless travel and enhanced frequent flyer benefits.
The airline adds some 400 daily flights to 70 destinations to the Star Alliance network. Among these are five new destinations in China: Juzhou (Zhejiang Province), Linyi, Qinhuangdao, Shijiazhuang, and Zhoushan. In addition to improving connectivity from its home base in Shenzhen, international passengers benefit from a wider choice of transfer flights in China when connection via the international airports in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai – Pudong. As part of seamless travel customer promise, Shenzhen Airlines offers through check-in for passengers connecting to and from other Star Alliance member airlines flights.
On a global basis, the 27 Star Alliance member carriers now offer more than 21,900 daily flights to 1,329 destinations in 194 countries.
Shenzhen Airlines’ PhoenixMiles Frequent Flyer (FFP) members can now collect and redeem miles on the entire Star Alliance network. By the same token, the FFP members of all other Star Alliance member carriers now receive mileage credits for eligible flights on Shenzhen Airlines and can redeem miles for travel on the Chinese airline. In addition, miles credited for flights on Shenzhen Airlines count towards achieving Star Alliance Gold and Silver Status. This entitles customers to enhanced benefits when travelling on the Star Alliance network, which include among others, increased luggage allowance as well as access to more than 1,000 lounges for Gold Card holders.
Star Alliance offers numerous fare products for both corporate and leisure customers and Shenzhen Airlines now sells and participates in a selection of these. In view of the strong business community located in Shenzhen Airline’s catchment area, the Star Alliance Corporate Plus product – which allows corporate clients to obtain corporate deals for travel on the Star Alliance network via one member airline – will enhance the carrier’s proposition to this market segment.
For the Conventions and Meetings market segment, the tailor-made Star Alliance Conventions Plus and Meetings Plus products will increase in attractiveness, as organisers and delegates can now include Shenzhen Airlines in their travel planning. Moreover it allows easier access to the Pearl River Delta as a meeting and conventions location.
Flights operated by Shenzhen Airlines can now be booked as part of the following Star Alliance fares: Round-the-World, Circle Pacific, Asia Airpass and China Airpass.
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Photo credit: Staff from Star Alliance member airlines stand on the tarmac at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport in front of two Shenzen Airlines' Star Alliance branded Airbus A320s. Star Alliance / Star Alliance