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Air France-KLM tightens China ties
Air France A380. © Air France

Air France-KLM tightens China ties

Air France-KLM has announced new moves to reinforce cooperation with Chinese airlines.

First, AFI KLM E&M - Air France-KLM’s MRO arm – and China Eastern Airlines have signed a new component support contract for the Chinese company's Boeing 787-9 fleet, which will eventually include 15 aircraft. The agreement covers repair services, access to a regional spare parts pool as well as the provision of a local parts stock, and additional services in the field of training and industrial development support.

For this purpose, AFI KLM E&M plans to develop a regional Boeing 787 spare parts pool in Shanghai, in order to meet the needs of China Eastern Airlines and other future customers.

Air France-KLM and China Eastern Airlines have also announced their intention to extend their joint venture partnership as from 2019. 

With this new agreement, the three SkyTeam alliance member airlines (Air France, KLM and China Eastern Airlines) will cooperate on two additional routes operated on a code-share basis – Paris-Wuhan and Paris-Kunming.

Air France and China Eastern started their cooperation in 2000 in the form of a code-share agreement on the Paris-Shanghai route. The partnership was consolidated in 2012 thanks to a joint venture agreement. KLM joined this joint venture in 2016, thus extending the agreement to the Amsterdam-Shanghai route.

Since October 2017, China Eastern Airlines has held 8,8% of Air France-KLM’s share capital and has one director representing it on Air France-KLM’s board of directors. 

Air France, KLM, China Southern, Xiamen

In a separate development, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines have announced the merger of their existing joint venture agreements. The aim is to create even stronger links between the partners and offer customers smoother, seamless travel solutions.

This extended joint venture contributes to strengthening the position of Air France and KLM on the growing Chinese air transport market. Every year, the four airlines carry some 1,250,000 passengers between Europe and China on their joint-operated routes. The airlines closely cooperate in other areas, notably in airport handling, catering and aircraft maintenance services.

Since 2006, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and China Southern Airlines have been operating a joint venture on the Amsterdam-Beijing service. In 2015, Xiamen Airlines joined this joint venture on the Amsterdam-Xiamen route. In 2010, France formed a partnership with China Southern Airlines to also create a joint venture on the Paris-Guangzhou route. These agreements are currently combined to form a single joint venture between Europe and China.

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