China South Air (NYSE:ZNH)
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China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd (0670.HK) is dropping American Airlines as a code-share partner in favor of a proposed new pact with Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL).
The Chinese carrier plans to join the Delta-led SkyTeam global alliance later this year after declining the overtures from Oneworld, the rival grouping led by American, a unit of AMR Corp. (AMR), and British Airways.
Delta and China Eastern applied to U.S. regulators to place codes on each other's flights between the U.S. and China and on services beyond their respective hubs, according to a regulatory filing. Such marketing pacts are common in the industry and help feed passengers and cargo into partners' networks.
China Eastern and American plan to end their code-share deal on May 31, according to a separate filing, and the proposed SkyTeam deal leaves Oneworld as the only one of the three global groupings without a Chinese partner. China Southern Airlines Co. (ZNH) is already a SkyTeam member, while Air China Ltd. (0753.HK) is in the Star grouping led by United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) and Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DLA.XE).
-By Doug Cameron, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-750-4135; firstname.lastname@example.org