Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines has joined the global Star Alliance, becoming the first of a new generation of private Chinese carriers to enter one of world’s three major frequent flyer groups as it prepares to launch long-haul flights. The move also makes Juneyao the first airline admitted under Star’s Connecting Partner program, which opens the alliance to smaller, and low-cost regional carriers. It also comes just three months after Juneyao announced its first purchase of long-haul planes, with plans to buy five Boeing 878 Dreamliners and the option for five more. Star already counts Air China and Shenzhen Airlines as its two China members, based in Beijing and the southern boomtown of Shenzhen across the border from Hong Kong, respectively. According to Caixin, none of the China’s young and growing field of private carriers, including Hainan Airlines and Spring Airlines, has joined any of the global alliances before now.
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