China Airlines and China Southern to be strategic partners

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China Airlines (CAL) and China Southern Airlines have signed a strategic cooperation agreement.

The new strategic cooperation agreement signed today "builds upon the foundation laid by a memorandum of cooperation signed by both carriers in 2008", says CAL.

The earlier agreement provided for interline check-in, passenger baggage check-through, mileage rewards programme cooperation, interline ticket issuance, special cargo prorate cooperation and cargo space swaps, as well as aircraft maintenance cooperation and a flight attendant training interchange program, it says.

"Under the terms of the new agreement, the two carriers will raise their cooperation to a strategic level, exploring the opening of codeshare routes, increased cooperation in passenger, freight and ground handling operations, expanded flight and ground crew cooperation, as well as boosting technological cooperation between the two carriers' business information networks."

China Southern is a member of SkyTeam Alliance and CAL also has strong links to SkyTeam's Delta Air Lines.