Four Asian airlines are getting together to form a new alliance in hopes of giving award-winning Cathay Pacific a run for its money.
Four Alliance Airlines Add Hong Kong Flights
The carriers – which include China’s China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and Taiwan’s China Airlines – would take advantage of “closer business” ties between mainland China and the island nation of Taiwan as Bloomberg reports, ties that have spurred travel demand.
This new alliance will allow its carriers to offer more than 270 round-trip “cross-strait” flights each week between China and Taiwan along with 280 such flights via Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific, which is based in Hong Kong, offers just under 130 flights per week between Hong Kong and Taiwan’s capital, Taipei.
Passengers will also benefit from the alliance since it allows members of loyalty programs to redeem miles on any of these airlines plus frequent flyers can make use of the lounges and enjoy other rewards’ perks. The new alliance airlines are also members of the larger alliance SkyTeam while Cathay Pacific is a Oneworld member.
Asia Hot Market for Air Travel
Demand for air travel in Asia – particularly in China – has been heating up in recent years, to the extent that some Asian airlines have been looking to poach U.S. pilots. As FareCompare reported last year, 70 U.S. pilots attending a job fair in Miami were reportedly offered jobs by Chinese airlines on the spot and “one American pilot was quoted as saying he could just about double his salary by moving to China.”
A Little History
It wasn’t so many decades ago that any sort of alliance between China and Taiwan would have been considered unthinkable but times change, Cold Wars thaw and potentially profitable partnerships eclipse 20th century politics.