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Air China to join Star Alliance

At a joint ceremony held in Beijing today, Air China and Star Alliance announced that the Chinese carrier has decided to join Star Alliance. Commenting on today's event, Jaan Albrecht, Star Alliance CEO said: " We are delighted that Air China has elected to join Star Alliance. This is the decisive step in implementing our strategy for the Chinese market and lays a foundation for the future pace in Chinese Aviation" Mr. Li Jiaxiang, President of China National Aviation Holding Company and Chairman of Air China Limited , said: " With economic globalization and open skies, competition in the airline industry will intensify. In order to survive and grow, airlines need to build international alliances. Cooperation between Air China and Star Alliance will lead to multiple advantages for all parties. China's civil aviation market is one of the fastest growing in the world, and has enormous potential". Star Alliance recently also extended an invitation to Shanghai Airlines to join the alliance. This dual-hub approach will allow the alliance to offer unique network from the two most important airports in China, Beijing and Shanghai. Once both Air China and Shanghai Airlines will become full members of the alliance, the Star Alliance network will grow to 20 members, offering more than 16,500 daily flights to 912 destinations in 160 countries. Star Alliance was established in 1997. The members are Air Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Thai Airways International, United, US Airways and VARIG Brazilian Airlines. Air China and Shanghai Airlines will become full members by the end of 2007. Regional member carriers Adria Airways (Slovenia), Blue1 (Finland) and Croatia Airlines enhance the global network. SAS Group Corporate Communications

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