China Eastern Airlines Corporation and the SkyTeam Airline Alliance have signed a memorandum of understanding in Shanghai confirming China Eastern's plans to join the SkyTeam Alliance by mid 2011.
It is generally accepted that membership of an airline alliance would expand an airline's air route network, expand its market share and increase the number of travelers and income as a result of resource sharing and business cooperation within the alliance. Airlines can also lower their costs by joint sales and joint procurement, in so far as this is permitted by national laws.
After joining SkyTeam, China Eastern will have its network of air routes network considerably. It will reach 856 destinations in 169 countries and regions through the link and the integration of air route networks with the nine SkyTeam members and their two associated companies.
Liu Shaoyong, the general manager of China Eastern Air Holding Company and the chairman of China Eastern, commented that joining SkyTeam is the correct way of entering a globalized market for the airline, that will provide a greater space for growth and will help the airline develop an international perspective and increase its international competitiveness.