Qantas today announced a significant expansion of its codeshare agreement with China Eastern Airlines, giving its customers better access to major cities in China and meeting strong demand from the business market.
From 1 May 2013, Qantas will codeshare on China Eastern’s daily Melbourne-Shanghai services as well as its Sydney-Nanjing-Beijing services, which operate three times per week. Qantas will also begin codesharing on China Eastern’s domestic Shanghai-Nanjing flights.
The expanded codeshare arrangements mean Qantas customers can choose from 17 direct Qantas or China Eastern services between Australia and mainland China each week – with onward connections via Shanghai to 11 domestic destinations. Qantas also has codeshare services on China Eastern flights between Singapore and Shanghai, with connections to Qantas flights operating from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
There are no changes to Qantas’ existing daily Sydney-Shanghai service.
Qantas International, Manager China, Andrew Hogg said the additional codeshare services were part of the broader strategy announced in February 2013 to strengthen the airline’s presence in Asia.
“We are building on our strong relationship with China Eastern to support growing corporate travel and tourism between Australia and China,” Mr Hogg said.
“The new codeshare arrangements provide Qantas customers with a daily, non-stop connection from Melbourne to the global business hub of Shanghai, alongside Qantas’ established Sydney-Shanghai flights.
“Qantas customers can also book flights operated by China Eastern from Sydney to Nanjing, China’s second-largest commercial centre, and onwards to Beijing.
“China Eastern and Qantas have worked together since our first codeshare agreement in 2008 and more recently on our Jetstar Hong Kong joint venture. We are very pleased to be strengthening this partnership further with today’s announcement.
“In February we announced more seats and an improved schedule for Qantas flights to Singapore and Hong Kong, the first phase of our strategy to be the first choice for travel between Australia and Asia.
“We said we would expand Qantas’ Asian network through our airline partnerships and we’re now delivering on that promise. Qantas International offers 130 flights to Asia every week, with direct flights to 10 cities (11 with the addition of Nanjing to the network), and fares available with partner airlines to over 120 more cities in Asia.
“We’re investing in the customer experience, with new lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong to open later this year and an A330 reconfiguration program to commence in late 2014,” added Mr Hogg.
Qantas customers can book the new China Eastern codeshare services from today for travel from 1 May 2013, through qantas.com or travel agents.* Qantas Frequent Flyers can earn and redeem points on all eligible flights throughout the China Eastern network.
*Subject to regulatory approval.