San Francisco – December 16, 2014 – Virgin America and China Eastern today announce a codeshare agreement to offer seamless booking and travel from Shanghai, China to multiple destinations across the United States. The new agreement will see China Eastern place its two-digit flight code (MU) on a range of Virgin America routes from Los Angeles and San Francisco – including West Coast flights to Boston, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Newark, New York (JFK), Seattle, San Diego and Washington Dulles (IAD). This will open a world of choice and convenience for travel between Asia, China, and the United States, offering a one-stop booking process and one-stop check-in, including seamless boarding passes and baggage handling for the entire journey. Codeshare flights can be booked today for travel from December 17, 2014.
The two airlines also announce today that starting next year the two airlines will launch reciprocal frequent flyer benefits. Members of China Eastern’s frequent flyer program will be able to earn Eastern Miles when traveling on all Virgin America flights and redeem their Eastern Miles for reward flights on all Virgin America routes. Members of Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flyer program will also be able to earn Elevate points when flying across China Eastern’s network as well as redeem their Elevate points for international reward flights on any route operated and marketed by China Eastern.
“According to the latest update from the UN World Tourism Organization, China is the largest outbound tourism market for the second year in a row and is showing no signs of slowing down. We are very pleased to launch our first codeshare agreement in this important market with one of the largest airlines in mainland China, a partner that shares our passion for providing outstanding guest service,” said Adam Green, Virgin America’s Director of Network Planning. “We look forward to welcoming China Eastern guests onboard our flights and offering our award-winning service to and from a range of destinations across the United States. This is also great news for our Elevate members, who will be able to enjoy earning Points on even more destinations starting next year.”
“The United States is a key market for our airline and we are delighted to expand our reach even further with Virgin America. The agreement streamlines the booking process for travel between Shanghai and a range of destinations across the United States and will make it even easier at the airport, offering one-stop check-in for boarding passes and baggage. We look forward to working closely with Virgin America in the future,” said Ms. Li Yan, China Eastern’s Director of Commercial Cooperation Dept.
China Eastern offers daily direct flights from Shanghai to San Francisco and from Shanghai to Los Angeles.
The codeshare partnership expands on the two airlines’ existing interline agreement, which commenced in May 2013. China Eastern is Virgin America’s fifth codeshare agreement and joins the airline’s growing partner portfolio.
Photos of Virgin America’s fleet/cabins can be downloaded here. Broadcast quality video b-roll can be downloaded here along with broadcast quality 360° interior/exterior plane footage here.
About Virgin America:
Known for its mood-lit cabins, three beautifully designed classes of service and innovative fleetwide amenities — like touch-screen personal entertainment, WiFi and power outlets at every seat, Virgin America has built a loyal following of flyers and earned a host of awards since launching in 2007 — including being named both the “Best U.S. Airline” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for the past seven consecutive years. For more: www.virginamerica.com
About China Eastern:
China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited is heart quartered in Shanghai. As one of the three major airlines in mainland China, it flies a fleet of more than 430 long-haul and short-haul aircraft with an average age of less than seven years, China Eastern serves nearly 80 million travelers annually and ranks among the world’s top 5 airlines in terms of passenger transportation volume. As China Eastern has been striving to become a superexcellent aviation service integrator to win “staff devotion, customers’ loyalty, shareholders’ satisfaction and public trust”. As the end of 2012, China Eastern has been rewarded the “Golden Ting Award” by China Capital Market Annual Conference 2012, been recognized as one of the 50 most valuable Chinese brands by WPP and been ranked among the top ten of FORTUNE China CSR Ranking 2013. With the concept of “World-class hospitality with Eastern charm”, China Eastern will create splendid travel experiences for global customers with an “accurate, delicate and precise” service quality.
SOURCE: Virgin America