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Oneworld woos China Eastern Airlines as alliance partner

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littl_flier

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Found this: Oneworld woos China Eastern Airlines as alliance partner-05/06/2007-London-Flightglobal.com

Airline alliance Oneworld is to continue to court Shanghai-based carrier, China Eastern Airlines as a potential future member despite Singapore Airlines, a member of a rival alliance, taking a stake in the carrier.

Singapore Airlines is a member of Star Alliance, but Oneworld says that it can still accommodate carriers in China that are partners with another group.
John McCulloch, the alliance's managing partner, said, at a briefing on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association annual general meeting in Vancouver that he does not believe SIA's expected purchase of a sizeable minority stake will complicate Oneworld's discussions with China Eastern.
"China is an unusual market for this sort of activity. We are proceeding as before," "I don't think it is going to complicate things," he says.

China Eastern is the only one of China's "big three" carriers that has yet to commit to joining an alliance, after Air China announced last year that it would join Star and China Southern Airlines earlier declared that it would join SkyTeam.

McCulloch says Hong Kong-based Oneworld member, Cathay Pacific Airways, already has a sizeable stake in future Star member Air China, so there is a precedent for cross-alliance shareholdings in the China market.
He says that as Cathay subsidiary Dragonair will be joining as an affiliate member of Oneworld later in the year, the China market will be well covered until a member from within mainland China is brought in.
 
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