China Airlines 747-400 (old livery). By Rob Finlayson

Taiwan’s China Airlines (CI) on Wednesday officially joined SkyTeam, becoming the first Taiwanese airline to join the alliance (ATW Daily News, Sept. 15, 2010).

CI becomes SkyTeam’s 15th member. China Southern and China Eastern joined the alliance in November 2007 and June 2011, respectively.

CI operates 224 daily departures to 80 destinations and brings three new destinations to SkyTeam’s network: Okinawa and Miyazaki, Japan, and Surabaya, Indonesia.

“Joining SkyTeam is an integral part of our strategy for increased international growth and profitability,” said CI chairman Chia-Juch Chang.

SkyTeam MD Michael Wisbrun said, “Thanks to excellent links to a number of existing SkyTeam hubs, China Airlines’ membership adds value to the alliance for both passengers and cargo customers.”

CI has also refreshed its brand image. At the joining ceremony in Taipei, the Taiwan flag carrier unveiled a new trademark, integrating its “Plum Blossom” trademark and “Chinese Seal.”