The Air China-owned domestic carrier signed the agreement with All Nippon Airways (ANA), the two airlines said today (June 12), in a joint statement.
Shandong, which will book passengers onto four of ANA’s routes, is currently China’s ninth largest domestic carrier and is rapidly expanding.
The airline has now joined up with ANA, which will book passengers onto Shandong’s operated services between Osaka’s Kansai Airport and Jinan.
Shandong, meanwhile, will place its flight code on ANA-operated flights between Tokyo's Narita Airport and Qingdao; Kansai and Qingdao; Kansai and Tokyo’s Haneda Airport; and Kansai and Fukuoka.
The agreement – which will come into force on June 28 – was signed between the two airlines’ CEOs in Beijing this week.
Shandong is aiming to double its fleet over the next five years, to 100 aircraft, and has enjoyed growth of 91% over past five years.
It operates upwards of 110 routes, with more than 2,000 weekly flights to more than 60 cities.
The carrier launched its first international flights in 2004 and now operates from Hong Kong and Taiwan, to South Korea and Japan.
Ma Chongxian, president and CEO of Shandong Airlines, said: “Japan is now one of our most popular long-haul destinations, and this agreement with ANA signifies the importance of Japan in the Shandong Airlines network and the possibility to transport our customers to other important destinations in Japan.”
Shandong has bases in Jinan, Qingdao, Yantai, Xiamen, Beijing, Kunming and Chongqing, with a flight network covering the whole of China.
Both the ANA Group and Air China, which owns Shandong, are members of the Star Alliance. ANA has been a core member since 1999.
The airline last year launched joint-ventures with United Airlines on trans-Pacific and Asia routes, and Lufthansa on Japan-Europe routes.
In 2011, ANA carried 43 million passengers and generated revenues of $17.1 billion.
Shinichiro Ito, ANA’s president and CEO, said: “We are pleased to welcome Shandong Airlines as our code-share partner and look forward to cooperating with each other on our Japanese and Chinese networks. This will give our customer access to a wider network.”