American Airlines and China's Hainan Airlines have agreed to codeshare on each other's flights and to offer members of their frequent-flyer programs new opportunities...

American Airlines and China’s Hainan Airlines have agreed to codeshare on each other’s flights and to offer members of their frequent-flyer programs new opportunities to earn and redeem mileage points.

The agreement will provide new growth opportunities for American Airlines in China and for Hainan Airlines in the United States, according to the two carriers.


Hainan Airlines is one of only a handful of carriers worldwide whose service quality is rated 5-Star in the Skytrax annual survey of millions of airline passengers.

The carrier operates more than 2,800 weekly flights to cities throughout China as well as international destinations in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. Hainan Airlines is the fourth-largest airline in China.

Hainan Airlines, the fourth-largest carrier in China, is a launch customer for the Boeing 787, with 10 787-8s and 30 787-9s on order. Hainan Airlines adopted its current livery in 2009

From its Beijing hub, Hainan offers more than 400 weekly flights, including service to more than 40 Chinese cities. Despite the fact its main hub is at Beijing, Hainan Airlines is headquartered in Haikou, the capital of the island of Hainan off the southern coast of China.

The agreement, subject to government approval, will open many new markets that will complement American’s existing service to China. Currently, American operates nonstop service in three markets: Chicago O’Hare-Beijing, Chicago O’Hare-Shanghai and Los Angeles-Shanghai.

From its cornerstone hubs at Chicago O’Hare and Los Angeles, American and American Eagle offer more than 450 and more than 150 daily departures, respectively.

According to American, the key elements of the American-Hainan agreement are:

● Codesharing by American on direct China domestic flights operated by Hainan beyond Beijing, which will allow customers on American’s Chicago-Beijing flights to make connections to cities within China;

● Codesharing by American on direct flights operated by Hainan between Beijing and Seattle;

● Codesharing by Hainan Airlines (whose IATA flight code is HU) on direct U.S. domestic flights operated by American beyond Seattle, which will allow customers on Hainan’s Beijing-Seattle flights access to American’s domestic network;

● Codesharing by Hainan on direct flights operated by American between Shanghai and both Chicago and Los Angeles; and between Beijing and Chicago;

● Improvement in flight schedules and connection times to benefit customers of both airlines; and

● Increased opportunities for customers of each airline to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles/points on services operated by the other.

American Airlines operates most if not all of its transpacific services with Boeing 777-200ERs. The airline had 47 in service as of October 2010, with seven more on order

“By strengthening and broadening our presence in China through our relationship with Hainan Airlines, American will be better positioned to deliver enhanced benefits to our joint customers,” says Virasb Vahidi, American’s chief commercial officer.

“This agreement has the potential to make traveling between China and the United States – and beyond – considerably more attractive for our customers with improved connections and increased frequent flyer benefits,” says Hou Wei, Hainan’s chief marketing officer.

American says its new agreement with Hainan Airlines increases the U.S. carrier’s presence throughout Asia. With fellow oneworld members Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines and the Qantas Group, American offers codeshare service to cities throughout the Pacific Rim from Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong hub, Japan Airlines’ Tokyo Narita hub and Qantas’ Sydney hub.

Founded in 1993 and a member of the HNA Group, Hainan Airlines carries more than 20 million passengers annually and currently flies to 90 cities in 17 countries. Today the airline’s Boeing and Airbus fleet numbers 105 aircraft, with new deliveries occurring monthly. Hainan Airlines is one of the launch customers for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with 10 Boeing 787-8s and 30 787-9s on order.

The carrier currently operates Seattle-Beijing non-stop service with Airbus A330-200s. Its frequent flyer program, the Fortune Wings Club, has millions of members across China. U.S. callers can reach Hainan Airlines by calling 1-888-688-8813, or by Hainan’s North American website, www.hainanair.us. The website provides users with easy booking access and travel offers.