Virgin Atlantic announce plans for China Eastern partnership

Oct 16, 2019

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Virgin Atlantic plan to launch a joint venture with Chinese powerhouse airline China Eastern, as they strengthen their commitment to services to China.

On the 20th anniversary of Virgin operating to Shanghai (PVG), the airline will join an existing partnership between China Eastern and Air France / KLM next year. The joint venture will, for the first time, allow passengers to book codeshare flights through Virgin Atlantic operated by China Eastern between London (LHR and LGW) and Shanghai (PVG), as well as earning and redeeming Flying Club miles on China Eastern.

Both carriers operate daily flights from Heathrow, with China Eastern also currently operating three weekly flights from Gatwick. This will increase to one a day by November 2019.

The news comes during a big year for Virgin Atlantic. Following the launch of their new flagship Airbus A350 aircraft, featuring their new Upper Class seat, they also plan to implement a joint venture later this year with Air France/KLM which will give them some much needed connectivity across Europe. Air France / KLM already operate a joint venture with China Eastern, which the new VS/MU/KLM/AF four airline agreement will replace.

All four airlines already work closely with Delta, suggesting that Virgin Atlantic could one day join the Skyteam alliance of which all these other airlines are already members.

Featured image by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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