Lufthansa and Air China have signed a route-sharing deal as part of the commercial venture between the two airlines.

The deal means Lufthansa can continue to pursue its expansion in the Asian market, following a similar deal with Japanese airline All Nippon Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

“This ground-breaking joint venture will fundamentally strengthen our competitive position on routes between Europe and China,” said Carsten Spohr, chairman and CEO, Lufthansa. “The significantly enhanced partnership will enable us to create additional benefits for customers.

“The Chinese aviation market is one of the most important growth markets worldwide. We want to profit from this growth together with our Star Alliance partner Air China,” added Spohr.

Both airlines will now work closer together by ensuring flight timetables are more aligned, providing better connections for travellers.

They also plan to offer common fares, modify corporate programmes to improve the products available to corporate customers and examine the opportunities for existing connections in frequent flyer programmes.

In addition to Lufthansa and Air China, the agreement extends to the Lufthansa subsidiaries Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines. 

The commercial joint venture is scheduled to commence at the start of the 2017 summer flight timetable.

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