Reports from Hong Kong say that China Eastern Airlines is to join the SkyTeam alliance.

Both SkyTeam and rival alliance oneworld have been courting the state-owned Shanghai-based carrier.

A spokesperson for SkyTeam said it was “aware” that China Eastern was about to announce its choice.

It confirmed the alliance was keen to expand its network in Asia.

If the move goes ahead it will be seen as a major win for SkyTeam which recently failed to lure Japan Airlines from oneworld.

China Southern is already a member of the SkyTeam alliance while the People’s Republic’s leading carrier, Air China is a member of the third major airline grouping Star Alliance.  

Industry rumours in recent weeks have suggested that China Eastern would join oneworld.

A spokesperson for that alliance said he expected an announcement would be made “imminently, perhaps this week.”

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