SkyTeam frequent flyers can now earn frequent flyer points and status on Chinese carrier Xiamen Airlines, the alliance's newest member.
Your SkyTeam frequent flyer status will also be recognised on Xiamen Airlines' flights, lounges and for the alliance-wide Sky Priority queue-busting fast track services.
Xiamen Airlines' planes are a familiar sight for regular visitors to southeastern China, and especially at its hubs airports at Xiamen, Fuzhou and Hangzhou.
It's the nineteenth SkyTeam member, joining parent airline China Southern and China Eastern as the third mainland China-based airline in the alliance.
Adding Xiamen Airlines to the list reinforces SkyTeam's predominance in the Chinese market, making a SkyTeam frequent flyer program a must for Australians travelling extensively to and within China who want to reap the rewards of points and status.
But SkyTeam frequent flyer program options are limited, with no Australian partner airline in SkyTeam. The best frequent flyer scheme for Australian travellers are the Korean Air or Delta programs.
Earning Delta SkyMiles and redeeming them on Virgin Australia is likely to be your best option if you don't have an existing SkyTeam program.
Three SkyTeam airlines with "China" in their names fly to Australia -- China Airlines (based in Taipei, not to be confused with Air China), China Eastern Airlines (based in Shanghai) and China Southern Airlines (based in Guangzhou).
Only China Eastern has an Australian partner airline, in Qantas.
Aerolineas Argentinas, Delta Air Lines, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines round out the SkyTeam carriers flying to our shores, with Garuda Indonesia due to join shortly.
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About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.