Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa, and Song Zhiyong, President and Executive Director of Air China, signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance the commercial partnership as part of a joint venture, during German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel’s state visit to China. As members of the Star Alliance, Lufthansa and Air China have been connected for a number of years. The memorandum of understanding should pave the way for the creation of a commercial joint venture between the German airline and Air China. This partnership will add to the existing joint ventures with United Airlines and with Air Canada between Europe and North America (since 1998) and with ANA (since 2012) on routes between Europe and Japan. The agreement with Air China will allow the Lufthansa Group to provide its airlines with even better access to the world’s second largest aviation market after the USA. The new partnership agreement should come into force as early as the start of the winter flight timetable in late October 2014.