Sri Lanka gets China Eastern flights

BEIJING, June 21, 2011 (AFP) – China Eastern Airlines said Tuesday that the company and its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines Co. have joined global air carrier alliance SkyTeam. The nation’s biggest carrier, China Southern Airlines, is already a member of SkyTeam while Air China belongs to the Star Alliance. Members of the China Eastern Airlines frequent flyer programme will from now on be able to redeem points when they fly on SkyTeam’s other carriers, the company said in a statement.

“SkyTeam will bring high quality transit passengers for China Eastern in the more important markets in the United States and Europe, as well as enrich the company’s flight network in these markets,” it added.

SkyTeam said in a separate statement that China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines would bring 32 new destinations to the alliance’s global network, including Macau and the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.

“With these additions, we firmly solidify our position as the number one alliance for the Greater China region,” SkyTeam’s managing director Michael Wisbrun said in the statement.

SkyTeam now has 14 members after the joining of China Eastern including Air France-KLM and Delta