Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines have announced they will merge their existing separate partnership agreements in order to form a single joint-venture.

Upon completion, the joint-venture will facilitate better connections between Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris CDG on the European side and Beijing Capital, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Xiamen on the Chinese side. Flights between Paris and Beijing will be excluded from the joint-venture.

The airlines also plan to improve the schedules and connecting times at each of the hubs.

The parties to the joint-venture will also explore cooperation in other areas. Air France's maintenance unit is already carrying out engine checks for the fleet of twelve B787s operated by Xiamen Airlines for example.

The new partnership builds upon twelve years of commercial cooperations between the airlines. KLM and China Southern Airlines had a joint-venture covering the Amsterdam-Beijing route since 2006. In 2015, Xiamen Airlines joined this joint-venture on the Amsterdam-Xiamen route.

For its part, Air France formed a joint-venture in 2010 with China Southern Airlines on the Paris-Guangzhou route.

All four carriers are members of the Skyteam alliance. Air France and KLM are members of the same Air France-KLM group, while Xiamen Airlines is 55%-owned by China Southern Airlines.