By joining Star, Shenzhen Airlines hopes to accelerate the pace of its international expansion as well as strengthen the alliance position in China and across Asia. Shenzhen Airlines will add some 400 daily flights to 70 Star destinations, including five new cities for the alliance—Juzhou, Linyi, Qinhuangdao, Shijiazhuang and Zhousan.
“Our customers now benefit from improved access throughout the economical Pearl River Delta and across Southern China ... I feel pretty good with the [Star] network in China,” Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab told ATW.
Shenzhen Airlines is Star’s second carrier in Mainland China after Air China became a member in December 2007. Air China was Shenzhen’s mentor for the joining process.
Taiwan-based Eva Air is expected to join Star in June 2013.
Shenzhen Airlines operates 116 passenger and cargo aircraft, comprising Boeing 737NGs, 747s, Airbus A319s and A320s. By the end of 2015, the fleet should grow from 122 to more than 170 aircraft by 2015.
The carrier operates bases in Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
(Kurt Hofmann - ATWOnline News)