Shanghai-based China Eastern and its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines have officially joined the Skyteam airline alliance.

An official ceremony was held in Beijing to welcome the carriers to Skyteam.

Michael Wisbrun, Skyteam’s managing director, said the two additions “firmly solidify our position as the number 1 alliance for the Greater China region.”

Skyteam offers 10% more daily departures to and from the Greater China region than other alliances, he said.

“We are delighted to welcome China Eastern and its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines into SkyTeam and honored that they have chosen this platform for joint growth,” said Wisbrun.

The completion of the membership process means China Eastern can now be included in global corporate deals, while passengers can earn and redeem Skyteam frequent flyer miles when flying with the airline.

The two Chinese airlines bring 32 new destination’s to Skyteam’s network, including Macau and Colombo.

China Eastern is the 14th airline to join the alliance, with a further five to join by 2012, including China Airlines.

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