Taiwan's Eva Air joins world's biggest air alliance

TAOYUAN (AFP) - Taiwan's Eva Airways on Tuesday joined Star Alliance, the world's biggest airline grouping, in a move that could give it an edge over regional rivals like China Airlines.

"Eva Air has successfully completed all joining requirements and I can confirm that our chief executive board has now unanimously accepted Eva Air into our alliance," Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab announced at a ceremony in the north of the island.

The move could see an increase in the carrier's occupancy rate by up to three percentage points, according to chairman Chang Kuo-wei, as passengers benefit from greater integration with leading airlines.

It took Eva Air a year and half to meet the alliance requirements, foremost the adjustment of its computer systems that will enable passengers to use air miles earned through other alliance members.

In March last year, an Eva executive said joining the grouping would give the carrier an advantage over China Airlines which belongs to the smaller Sky Team.

Eva, Taiwan's second largest airline, becomes the 28th member of the Star Alliance, which also includes carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Thai Airways International, United Airlines and Air Canada.

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