Qantas and China Eastern have extended their codeshare agreement and frequent flyer benefits on travel between Australia and China as part of their strategic partnership, now almost a year old.
Qantas confirmed on Friday that from 1 November 2015 Qantas and China Eastern customers would experience “shorter transit times, more codeshare options and greater frequent flyer benefits when travelling between Australia and China”.
Co-location will give customers streamlined check in facilities, access to China Eastern’s new lounge facility and improved connection times in the partnership’s Shanghai hub, a Qantas statement said.
From 25 October eligible Qantas customers will be able to access China Eastern’s current lounge while China Eastern develops a new lounge facility, due for completion in the third quarter of 2016. The current lounge, China Eastern Lounge 19B, is located on the lower level underneath boarding gate 19.
Co-location will also allow travellers to connect more easily to 67 Qantas codeshare services operated by China Eastern, including new destinations such as Changchun, Jinan and Wuhan. This takes Qantas’ intra-China offering from 11 to 18 markets and provides more than 400 services per week that connect within four hours to other destinations beyond the partnership’s main hub.
Qantas International chief executive Gareth Evans said the new agreement supported the growing number of travellers flying between Australia and China.
“Our goal is to be the first choice for travel between Australia and China and customers will enjoy significant customer benefits as a result of the expanded partnership,” Evans said.
“Co-location in Terminal 1 at Shanghai Pudong International Airport makes it easy for our customers to connect beyond Shanghai to the rest of China, and from cities across China through to Australia.
“Aviation is opening up new travel and business opportunities at a time when the Australia-China relationship is more important than ever to both countries.
“We see huge potential for this expanded partnership with China Eastern as tourist numbers grow and the China-Australia free trade agreement is finalised.
Evans said Qantas International was using its aircraft more efficiently and adding capacity to meet demand for travel to destinations across the Asia-Pacific, while expanding strategic partnerships to give its customers a bigger network.
“Working more closely with China Eastern is vital part of this strategy,” Evans said.
From 1 November 2015, under the new agreement, Qantas customers will gain new travel options between Australia and Shanghai, including codeshare bookings on China Eastern’s double-daily Sydney-Shanghai services and double-daily Melbourne-Shanghai services.
These services are complemented by Qantas’ existing codeshare on China Eastern’s Sydney Nanjing-Beijing services and new year-round Brisbane-Shanghai services beginning in November 2016.
Qantas Frequent Flyers will also have greater capacity to earn and redeem points as the partnership develops.
Earlier this month, Qantas announced that it had expanded its codeshare agreements with American Airlines, Westjet and Alaska Airlines on routes in North America .
Edited by Peter Needham