SkyTeam has inducted China Airlines as its 15th member, at a joining ceremony held in Taipei.

SkyTeam has inducted China Airlines as its 15th member, at a joining ceremony held in Taipei.

The flag carrier of Taiwan and one of the world’s leading cargo carriers, China Airlines becomes the first Taiwanese airline to join the SkyTeam Alliance and its membership helps cement the alliance’s strong position in the Greater China region.

From its hub in Taipei, China Airlines operates a diverse passenger and cargo network throughout the wider Asia Pacific region, North America and Europe, with a total of 224 daily departures to 80 destinations worldwide. The new member brings three new destinations to the SkyTeam network: Okinawa and Miyazaki, Japan; and Surabaya, Indonesia.

According to SkyTeam, China Airlines complements the network of existing members China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, and offers an extensive cross-strait operation to 20 major destinations in China. This provides SkyTeam customers with an extensive choice of travel options in the Greater China region.

Boeing delivered this new, special-livery Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft to Taiwan's China Airlines on December 7, 2004. The paint design was a special blending of China Airlines' distinctive plum blossom on the tail with the Boeing "blue" livery introduced during mid-2004. The aircraft was also the first 747-400 to feature the Boeing Signature Interior

“Thanks to excellent links to a number of existing SkyTeam hubs, China Airlines’ membership adds value to the alliance for both passengers and cargo customers,” said Michael Wisbrun, SkyTeam’s managing director. “Adding a quality brand from a strong economic region will support SkyTeam’s focus on our top priority – enhancing our products and services for our customers worldwide.”

“Joining SkyTeam is an integral part of our strategy for increased international growth and profitability,” said China Airlines’ Chairman, Chia-Juch Chang. “Today’s milestone is a momentous occasion in our history and we look forward to a future of cooperation and collaboration with our SkyTeam partners, bringing greater benefits to our distinguished passengers.”

Effective immediately, China Airlines customers will be able to earn and redeem miles on all services operated by SkyTeam member airlines. Members of other SkyTeam airlines’ frequent flyer programs can also earn and redeem miles when flying on any flight operated by China Airlines.

China Airlines will be included in all SkyTeam global deals, particularly benefiting corporate clients with business interests in Taiwan, according to SkyTeam.

While including the SkyTeam brand within its identity, China Airlines has also completely refreshed its brand image. The ‘Plum Blossom’ trademark and ‘Chinese Seal’ have been integrated, promoting China Airlines’ corporate identity in a simple, harmonized and modern design. The new logo will soon feature on all signboards, bulletins and travel products for passengers worldwide.

China Airlines is also the first SkyTeam member airline to fly a Boeing 747-400 in SkyTeam-livery colors. The repainted aircraft was unveiled during the festivities at the September 28 ceremony.