Excerpt from Star Alliance July 2011 Newsletter Shenzhen Airlines, China’s fifth largest airline will join Star Alliance by the end of next year. The deal was formally sealed at a signing ceremony attended by local politicians, the Chairman of Air China, the Star Alliance Management Board as well as both local and foreign media. In Chinese fashion, the official ceremony was rounded off by “Gambei”, the traditional Chinese “Cheers”. In his speech, Star Alliance CEO Jaan Albrecht said, “With the approval of our Chief Executive Board we today formally start the integration process of Shenzhen Airlines, which upon completion will allow Star Alliance to once again enlarge its offer across Mainland China and neighbouring countries.” The addition of Shenzhen will give the Alliance a stronger foothold in China, particularly in the southern region. Shenzhen, the airline’s hub airport, is the fifth largest in China. Among the 76 destinations the airline serves are five new airports for the Alliance: Juzhou (Zhejiang Province), Linyi, Qinhuangdao, Shijiazhuang, and Zhoushan. Shenzhen operates 2,000 flights per week.