Shenzhen Airlines has become the 27th carrier to join the Star Alliance network.
At a ceremony held at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport (IATA code SZX) on November 29, Mark Schwab, the CEO of Star Alliance, welcomed the airline into the grouping on behalf on the alliance’s Chief Executive Board.
“Shenzhen Airlines is China’s fifth-largest carrier and strengthens the Star Alliance presence in China and across Asia,” said Schwab. “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.”
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 traveler with more destinations and flights.
According to Star Alliance, in the case of China the foundation for this strategy was set many years ago by those Star Alliance member carriers which have been serving the China market for several decades. In December 2007 Air China, China’s flag carrier, became a member of the alliance and later sponsored Shenzhen Airlines for membership.
“After 16 months of integration work, we have become a Star Alliance member,” said Feng Gang, president of Shenzhen Airlines. “We are proud to proclaim that Shenzhen Airport, serving the fourth-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.”
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, Shenzhen Airlines’ international passengers benefit from a wider choice of transfer flights in China when connecting to and from the carrier’s flights serving Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai Pudong. 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 – there are actually currently 28, but Avianca and Taca, both owned by AviancaTaca, are merging their operations under the Avianca name – now offer more than 21,900 daily flights to 1,329 destinations in 194 countries.
Shenzhen Airlines’ PhoenixMiles frequent-flyer program (FFP) members can now collect and redeem miles on the entire Star Alliance network. Similarly, 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 both categories of fare products.
Additionally, flights operated by Shenzhen Airlines can now be booked as part of Star Alliance’s Round-the-World, Circle Pacific, Asia Airpass and China Airpass fares.
Shenzhen Airlines operates a fleet of 120 aircraft (10 of which are wet-leased, to two other Chinese carriers). Its fleet is almost entirely composed of Airbus A320-family and Boeing 737NG jets.