QANTAS AND CHINA SOUTHERN SIGN CODESHARE DEAL
Hong Kong, 4 December 2013: Qantas and China Southern have signed their first reciprocal codeshare agreement, which will significantly improve travel options for Qantas customers and open up new tourism opportunities for Australia.
Under the deal, Qantas customers will be able to book on China Southern services from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to Guangzhou – China’s third largest city and its biggest transport hub – as well as four onward destinations within China.
In turn, China Southern customers will be able to book on 10 different Qantas routes within Australia and to New Zealand – a move designed to make it easier for Chinese travellers to visit more cities.
In Guangzhou for the announcement, Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said the agreement was part of the airline’s strategy to offer the best travel options between Australia and Asia.
“Partnership is key to our strategy in Asia and we’re very pleased to now have China Southern as one of our codeshare partners in the world’s fastest growing aviation market,” said Mr Joyce.
“This is great news for the increasing number of Qantas customers travelling to China for business and leisure, because it simplifies their journey and opens up new destinations.
“Qantas is now in a unique position of having commercial relationships with the three biggest carriers in Greater China. We have codeshare agreements with China Southern and China Eastern, and through oneworld, a relationship with Cathay Pacific.
“The Qantas Group presence has never been stronger in Asia. When you factor in our direct passenger and freight services, as well as Jetstar and our codeshare partners, around one sixth of our total revenue now comes from Asia,” added Mr Joyce.
Chairman of China Southern, Si Xianmin, said: “The signing of this agreement between China Southern and Qantas Airways blazes a new and exciting trail for deepened relations between the two companies. It also sets a new model for China Southern to explore the international market together with international airlines”.
The two airlines have also agreed to investigate other areas of potential cooperation, including pilot training assistance from Qantas and cargo opportunities.
The new codeshare services are expected to be available for booking and travel from early 2014*.
This announcement follows other recent initiatives to boost the strength of Qantas’ offering into Asia, including schedule changes to improve onward connections; lounge upgrades in Singapore and Hong Kong and a major upgrade of the airline’s A330 fleet starting from end-2014.
In October, China Southern started a daily A380 service between Sydney and Guangzhou.