All Nippon Airways (ANA) wants to continue having Shanghai Airlines has a codeshare partner if it departs from Star Alliance as a consequence of its impending merger with larger carrier China Eastern Airlines.

"We want to continue to work with Shanghai Airlines after the merger" and continue to be codeshare partners, ANA executive VP, Keisuke Okada told ATI on the sidelines of yesterday's IATA AGM in Kuala Lumpur.

"We used to also have good relations with China Eastern [before teaming up with Shanghai Airlines] so for us the two carriers are no strangers," he says.

"I think ANA and China Eastern could work together very well," he adds.

ANA was the Star Alliance carrier that took the lead role in helping Shanghai Airlines join the alliance.

The two codeshare on several routes and Shanghai is ANA's most important market in China and a bigger market for ANA than Beijing, confirms Okada.

Shanghai Airlines' merger with China Eastern was one of the major topics of discussion among Star Alliance carriers at the IATA AGM, says Okada.

Yesterday Chinese state-run news media reported that China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines shares have temporarily been suspended because the two are going through a merger.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news