Air France-KLM and China Eastern Airlines (MU, Shanghai Hongqiao) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Virgin Atlantic (VS, London Heathrow) to include the British carrier in an existing joint-venture on services between China and Europe.

"Scheduled to enter into force in spring 2020, the cooperation will offer customers an increased number of flights and itineraries between Europe and China, further facilitated by mutual code-sharing, as well as competitive joint commercial propositions," the Franco-Dutch holding said in a press release.

The expanded JV will add London Heathrow and London Gatwick to the list of European destinations covered by the partnership. Specifically, Virgin Atlantic's daily flights from Heathrow to Shanghai Pudong (operated with B787-9s) and China Eastern's daily flights from Pudong to Heathrow (operated with B777-300(ER)s) and 3x weekly to Gatwick (A330-200s) will be included in the scope of the JV.

Currently, the JV covers the following routes: