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Airlines reach cooperation pact
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08:42, June 24, 2008

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China Southern Airlines yesterday signed a cooperation agreement with China Airlines, the largest airline company in Taiwan.

The agreement involves ground, passenger, apron telecom, freight and mail services the two will handle in their respective sizes.

They will also cooperate in sharing warehouse space, VIP lounges, promotional ticket fares, aircraft maintenance, and training programs.

"The strategic cooperation between China Southern and China Airlines is a concrete step for both airline companies to prepare for the upcoming cross-Straits weekend charter flights," Liu Shaoyong, chairman of China Southern, said at the signing ceremony.

"It will make it possible for both airlines to offer reliable, comfortable and convenient services to passengers."

The cross-Straits weekend charter flight service, scheduled to begin on July 4, will have 36 flights from Friday to Monday; and the number will increase according to demand.

The accord was signed in Beijing earlier this month when the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation, headed by its chairman Chiang Pin-kun, paid a visit to the mainland.

Liu said the cooperation will better position both airlines to make good use of the complementary advantages for win-win results.

"The world's civil aviation industry is having a hard time due to the global economic slowdown and the increase in oil prices. We hope cross-Straits direct flights in the real sense will be agreed upon by the authorities on both sides as soon as possible," Liu said.

Cross-Straits direct flights are expected to save passenger time, and reduce oil consumption.

Liu said a single direct flight from Shanghai to Taipei will save about one-and-a-half hours and reduce oil consumption by 8.8 tons, as compared to flights via Hong Kong.

Ringo Chao, chairman and president of China Airlines, said: "The weekend chartered flights will definitely bring more business to both airline companies. However, what is more significant and beneficial to both airlines and the people are the direct flights."

China Airlines is also looking forward to the support and assistance of China Southern in joining the global airline alliance, Skyteam, of which China Southern is also a member, he said.

Source: China Daily

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