All Nippon Airways Co. and China Eastern Airlines will form a comprehensive alliance and begin code-sharing operations in February, ANA officials announced Thursday.

Under the code-sharing arrangement, the two carriers will sell tickets for each other’s flights and connections, thus improving services. ANA will be the first Japanese carrier to engage in a code-sharing system with a Chinese carrier, the officials said.

Under the agreement to be signed today, ANA and China Eastern Airlines will jointly operate 18 flights a week — 14 flights between Osaka and Shanghai, and four flights between Osaka and Beijing via Qingdao — starting Feb. 1.

ANA President Kichisaburo Nomura and China Eastern Airlines President Li Zhong-ming in Tokyo will attend the ceremony. The carriers hope to expand cooperation by increasing the number of flights under the share system and boosting services such as check-ins and customers’ travel to and within China, ANA officials said.

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