Air China and the Lufthansa Group have signed a memorandum of understanding to expand the scope of the strategic partnership between their companies. The MoU was signed during German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s state visit to China and covers domestic and third-country codeshare, enabling Air China and Lufthansa to expand network access to nine points in China and Germany respectively, as well as destinations in Zurich, Spain and Brazil, etc. The agreement also includes joint billing and booking and will offer customers of both airlines “a product range that is more varied and can be combined more flexibly,” the two carriers said. The agreement should come into force in two phases as early as the start of the winter flight timetable in late October 2014 .
Both companies also signed a MoU to expand collaboration in the area of maintenance, repair and overhaul services. Air China and Lufthansa are both members of the world’s largest airline alliance, the Star Alliance, but cooperation within the alliance is limited to joint marketing and flight management.
In the summer season of 2014, Air China and Lufthansa have a joint capacity input of 81 flights per week on the Sino-German routes. From the signing of this agreement both carriers are codesharing on all their flights between China and Germany.