The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved American Airlines’ request for a reciprocal codeshare agreement with Hainan Airlines of the People’s Republic of China.
“This decision comes after Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping appeared at the White House on Tuesday with President Barack Obama, who stressed that the U.S. is focused on building a better economic and strategic relationship between the two nations,” said Will Ris, American’s senior vice president – government affairs.
“In this spirit, American applauds the president and DOT for their approval of the proposed codeshare relationship between American and Hainan Airlines, China’s fourth largest carrier,” said Ris.
Added Ris: “This new codeshare relationship will promote travel and tourism and further strengthen economic and cultural ties between the U.S. and China. A codeshare relationship will allow American and Hainan to efficiently connect Chinese air travelers from cities throughout China to the U.S. via Beijing and Shanghai. Similarly, the approval will create more convenient travel options for U.S. consumers when traveling to China.”
As a result of the DOT’s approval, Hainan Airlines will be able to display American Airlines’ ‘AA’ flight designator on its flights between the U.S. and China (which are currently only on the Seattle-Beijing route) and on its flights within China beyond American’s Beijing and Shanghai gateways.
In addition, American may now display Hainan Airlines’ ‘HU’ flight designator on its flights between the U.S. and China (American currently operates Chicago-Beijing, Chicago-Shanghai and Los Angeles-Shanghai) and on flights operated by American within the U.S. beyond Hainan’s Seattle gateway.
Hainan Airlines is one of only seven airlines in the world whose service standards are rated five-star by Skytrax, the world’s leading airline and airport service research and certification organization. Skytrax awarded Hainan Airlines the coveted rating in January 2011 after completing its annual survey of more than 17 million airline passengers at airports all over the world.
American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld alliance. Together with parent company AMR Corporation and AMR Eagle Holding Corporation, the parent of American Eagle, American and certain other AMR subsidiaries are currently operating under protection from its creditors and outside some contractual relationships, under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
The companies filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on November 29.
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