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中国

Lufthansa, Air China ink route joint venture deal

BEIJING, Sept 20 Germany's biggest airline Lufthansa and China's flagship carrier Air China have agreed a route joint venture deal that will allow them to sell each other's tickets on some routes, the companies said on Tuesday.

The deal caps off two years of talks that began with a signing of an accord in July 2014 and represents the closest agreement such carriers can enter short of a full-scale merger.

The German airline has sought closer ties with Air China to improve its position in the world's fastest growing aviation market as European traffic slows and to stem competition from fast-growing Persian Gulf carriers on lucrative long-haul routes.

Lufthansa's units Austrian Airlines and Swiss Air will also participate in the tie-up which will begin from the summer of 2017 and cover routes from China to cities including Frankfurt, Vienna and Zurich, the companies said in a statement handed out before a signing ceremony in Beijing. (Reporting by Paul Carsten; Brenda Goh in SHANGHAI; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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