Etihad partners with China Southern on new codeshare

China Southern Airbus 380

UAE-based Etihad Airways and mainland Chinese carrier China Southern Airlines have confirmed a new codeshare agreement that came into effect yesterday, providing provides China Southern with access to Etihad’s network from its Abu Dhabi hub.

The Chinese carrier’s “CZ” code will appear on Etihad’s daily Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu services henceforth, and passengers on these flights will then be able to connect to the more than 100 destinations to which Etihad flies.

Speaking about the agreement, China Airlines’ senior management on international cooperation, Zhang Lin, said it would enable both carriers to expand their global networks. “Through this partnership, China Southern Airlines will be able to extend our services globally – via Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub to the Middle East, Africa and Europe,” he said.

At the moment, miles from each airlines’ frequent-flyer programmes cannot be earned while travelling on codeshare routes operated by the other carrier, however a reciprocal loyalty partnership is being targeted for the near future that will enable miles earning and redemption across both airlines’ flights nation-wide.

For Etihad, the partnership entails a significant boon to its expansion into China, with executive vice president commercial, Mohammad Al Bulooki, calling it a “significant milestone in the airlines’ network development strategy and a key component of its footprint in the China market”.

He added, “This is a further example of our strategy of working with partners to extend our reach, and provide business and leisure travellers with more options. China is one of the fastest growing travel markets in the world, and one of the most competitive.”

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts China will become the world’s largest aviation market by 2024, and China Southern is claimed to be the country’s (and Asia’s) largest airline by fleet size.

The partnership between Etihad and China Southern is likely to add to the pressure already experienced by full-service carriers in Asia-Pacific, which have been losing out to the Gulf carriers as well as those on the Chinese mainland, and have had to significantly enhance cooperation with other airlines in order to better compete.

In particular, Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa recently announced a partnership aimed at taking on rival carriers in the Middle East and mainland China. Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines previously announced its own join-venture with Lufthansa, as well as a recent agreement with Air France in order to tackle growing competition.

Asian carriers are not the only ones that have been affected by competition from Gulf and mainland Chinese carriers, though. Earlier this year, American Airlines purchased 270 million shares in China Southern and began its own codeshare arrangement with the Chinese carrier – giving the Oneworld airline alliance member (which has no mainland Chinese member airlines) a much-needed foothold in the China market.

etihad.com; csair.com

Melbourne gets non-stop China Southern Shenzhen service

Melbourne-from-the-air

The inaugural flight of China Southern’s new Shenzhen-Melbourne non-stop service has taken off – the first of a three-times-weekly A330-200 offering that will operate on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

The new route comes nearly 17 years since the airline’s first flight to Melbourne, which took off in December 2000. China Southern today has the largest number of seats to China from Melbourne Airport of any airline, according to the airport, with flights from nine destinations in China to the Victoria capital.

“This is the second airline in less than two weeks to announce it will fly non-stop to Shenzhen, proving just how strong the interest is in the China-Melbourne market,” said Melbourne Airport chief of aviation, Simon Gandy.

In mid-May, Air China confirmed it would be flying the same route between Shenzhen, also thrice weekly with an A330-200 and on the same days as China Southern’s new service. Air China’s route is set to begin on June 20.

China isn’t the only country that is set to receive new connections to Melbourne. This week alone has seen both Japan Airlines and SriLankan Airlines announce planned flights to Australian city.

csair.com

China Southern launches new Mexico City route

China Southern Boeing 787-8 landing

China Southern’s previously reported new route to Mexico City has taken off, marking the Chinese carrier’s debut service into Latin America and the longest route in its network.

The new service departs from Guangzhou on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, with return flights from Mexico City leaving on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Both legs of the journey will transfer via Vancouver.

China Southern is deploying its Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route, which it configures in a three-class set up with four first (1-2-1), 24 business (2-2-2) and 200 economy (3-3-3) class seats.

Meanwhile, travellers to Mexico City will also be able to make use of fellow Skyteam airline Aeromexico’s flights to additional destinations in Mexico and Latin America, notably Buenos Aires in Argentina and Santiago in Chile.

Details of the Guangzhou (CAN)-Mexico City (MEX) flight are as follows (all times local):

Flight No.FromToDepartsArrivesDays
CZ377CANMEX23300515+1Mon, Thu, Sat
CZ378MEXCAN07451650+1Tue, Fri, Sun

Last month, American Airlines announced it would be entering into a codeshare partnership with China Southern following a US$200 million equity investment in the Chinese carrier. The codeshare will enable China Southern customers to travel to 80 destinations in North and South America from Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York JFK.

csair.com

American Airlines reportedly in discussions to buy stake in China Southern

China Southern Airbus 380

American Airlines is reportedly in advanced talks with China Southern Airlines regarding purchasing a stake in the Chinese carrier, according to the South China Morning Post.

The Hong Kong newspaper is reporting that the negotiations are centred about an approximately US$200 million investment by American Airlines in the Hong Kong-listed shares of China Southern. The Chinese airline, which has an estimated market value of about US$10 million, is the largest airline in Asia in terms of passenger numbers, while American Airlines is currently the world’s largest airline.

The purchase would give American Airlines – a member of the Oneworld alliance that doesn’t currently have a mainland Chinese partner airline – a stronger foothold in the Chinese aviation market, which the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts will become the world’s largest aviation market by 2024.

In 2015, Skyteam member Delta Air Lines purchased a US$450 million stake in China Eastern Airlines. China Southern is also a member of the Skyteam alliance.

American Airlines has been looking to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region over the past few years. In November last year, the carrier was dealt a blow when the US Department of Transportation blocked a bid for American Airlines and Qantas to expand their joint venture.

China Southern meanwhile has been expanding its fleet, having placed an order for 12 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft last October.

aa.com; csair.com

China Southern launches new rapid transfer service

China Southern Airbus 380

China Southern Airlines has introduced a new rapid transfer service for international travellers at its home base, Baiyun International Airport Guangzhou.

Effective starting this month, the service enables all travellers aboard all international China Southern flights going via Guangzhou to pass through China customs without the need to first claim their checked baggage.

Under the rapid transfer service, checked luggage will now be directly checked through to passengers’ final destinations, though customs declarations will still be required where applicable.

In a statement regarding the new service, China Southern said that the new system “will significantly enhance the transfer passengers’ service experience” at Guanghzou airport. Passengers can follow the signs through to China customs, while China Southern has also deployed pink-coated ground staff at the airport who can offer directions to travellers.

The service eases one of the more common difficulties encountered travelling in China, and China Southern is not the only airline to take measures to facilitate transfers. Earlier this year, Air China launched its Fully Entrusted-No Baggage Claim service for passengers flying to Chinese cities via Beijing on flights originating in Europe and the Americas.

csair.com

China Southern’s Vancouver service to get Dreamliner

China Southern Boeing 787-8 landing

China Southern will be changing equipment on its Guangzhou (CAN)-Vancouver (YVR) service to a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner for the summer season.

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific was alerted to the news by industry website, airlineroute.net and confirmed the change on China Southern’s schedule.

Starting March 26, the Chinese carrier will be replacing the 777-300ER that currently operates the route with the Dreamliner. CZ329/330 fly daily between the two cities.

The change accompanies the upcoming launch of China Southern’s new service to Mexico City on April 10, which also flies Guangzhou to Vancouver before continuing on to Mexico City. This new service – CZ337/338 – will operate three times weekly.

Full details of the daily Guangzhou-Vancouver service are as follows (all times local):

Flight No.FromToDepartsArrivesDays
CZ329CANYVR14001105Daily
CZ330YVRCAN13101715+1

csair.com/en

China Southern set to fly to Mexico City

China Southern Boeing 787-8

China Southern has opened reservations for a new Guangzhou-Vancouver-Mexico City service that is currently scheduled to launch on April 10 this year.

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific was alerted to the news by industry website airlineroute.net and has confirmed that seats on the route are now available on the airline’s website.

The Chinese carrier will be deploying its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the route configured with three classes. Four first class seats are available in a 1-2-1 set up, while 24 business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 200 economy class seats in a 3-3-3 set up are also offered.

For further details of China Southern’s B787-8 Dreamliner, see Business Traveller Asia-Pacific’s rundown of the aircraft’s seat plan.

China Southern will be operating the route three times weekly, bringing the total number of weekly flights it runs to Vancouver to ten.

Details of the Guangzhou (CAN)-Vancouver (YVR)-Mexico City (MEX) route are as follows (all times local):

Flight No.FromToDepartsArrivesDays
CZ377CANYVR23302035Mon, Thu, Sat
YVRMEX22050515+1
CZ378MEXYVR07451055Tue, Fri, Sun
YVRCAN12251630+1

csair.com/en

China Southern orders 12 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners

China Southern Boeing 787-8

China Southern Airlines has finalised an order for 12 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, adding to the airline’s ten existing B787-8s. The 787-9, with a fuselage stretched six metres more than the 787-9 and claimed to use 20 per cent less fuel than similarly sized aircraft, will expand the carrier’s long-haul capabilities.

Speaking about the order, Tan Wangeng, CEO of the Chinese carrier, said: “The 787 Dreamliners have helped us to achieve initial success in implementing our internationalisation strategy in the past few years and enabled us to make our operation and services more appealing to passengers. The additional new 787-9s will further increase our capacity and services for our long-haul routes.”

China Southern was the launch customer of the 787 for China, and the aircraft have enabled the airline to launch six non-stop global routes, connecting Guangzhou to London, Rome, Vancouver, Perth, Auckland and Christchurch.

Along with its improved efficiency, the 787-9 has a number of in-cabin upgrades over the 787-8, including larger windows and stow bins, LED lighting, higher humidity, a lower cabin altitude, cleaner air and an overall more smooth ride.

The 12 new 787-9s will build upon the carrier’s current fleet of 700 aircraft – reportedly the largest fleet of any Chinese airline – and China Southern anticipates it will expand this number to 1,000 aircraft by 2020 and passenger traffic surpassing 160 million annually.

csair.com/en

China Southern Airlines to launch flights to Adelaide

China Southern Airlines Airbus 380

China Southern will launch a thrice-weekly non-stop service between Guangzhou and Adelaide in December.

It will become the first carrier to operate non-stop flights between the mainland and Adelaide. Currently, the easiest connection point for Chinese travellers to Adelaide is to travel via Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific.

Speaking to the International Business Times, South Australia premier Jay Weatherill said: “Having a direct flight from mainland China will create jobs that extend well beyond Adelaide Airport – helping our tourism and hospitality sectors to take advantage of this growing market”.

China Southern has been gradually expanding its presence in Australia, with services to Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney from Guangzhou. The Skyteam member also began operating a Shenzhen–Sydney service back in January.

For more information, visit csair.com/en

Clement Huang

China Southern to reduce Amsterdam capacity

China Southern Airlines Airbus 380

China Southern Airlines will reduce capacity of its Beijing–Amsterdam route from August 29.

According to Luchtvaartnieuws.nl (Dutch only), the Skyteam member will replace the existing A380 with the smaller A330-300, representing more than a 40 per cent reduction in seating capacity.

Service times will remain unchanged. Flight CZ345 departs Beijing daily at 0030 and arrives in Amsterdam at 0510. The return service sees flight CZ346 take off from Amsterdam at 1450, before touching back down in Beijing at 0615 the following day.

According to the Dutch outlet, the decision to axe the A380 from the route is linked to a decrease in travel demand for Europe, following the recent terrorist attacks throughout the region.

Furthermore, Chinese nationals are favouring Australia and the US as potential destinations due to the recent relaxing of the visa application process.

For more information, visit csair.com

Clement Huang