MIAMI — American Airlines and China Southern have begun their extended partnership today, which will see both carriers codesharing on additional routes beyond key gateways in China and the United States.
Both airlines announced this tight interaction in November 2018, in which a code-share agreement would place the AA code on all of China Southern’s flights to and from the United States, and
With this agreement, the reach of both airlines grows exponentially. China Southern and American Airlines are the largest airlines in their countries, boasting 594 and 951 airplanes in their fleets, respectively.
“This latest step forward with China Southern gives our customers better access to interior China and China Southern’s customers better access to the U.S.,” said Shane Hodges, Vice President of Asia Pacific Sales for American Airlines.
“We will also soon begin recognizing our most valuable customers, allowing AAdvantage and Sky Pearl Club members to earn and redeem miles on all flights in our two extensive networks,” he said.
Hodges added that American Airlines will further enhance its loyalty offering later this year “to include lounge access for eligible customers at selected Admirals Club and Sky Pearl lounges around the world.”
According to American Airlines, once the frequent flyer benefits launch, AAdvantage members will be able to earn and redeem miles on China Southern’s more than 3,000 daily flights to 224 destinations in 40 countries.
Likewise, China Southern Sky Pearl Club members will have the ability to earn and redeem miles throughout AA’s network.
American Airlines notes that once the code-share expansion is implemented, both airlines will share codes on flights to 20 destinations in China beyond the China Southern’s hubs in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as 21 destinations in the U.S. beyond AA’s Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) and New York (JFK) hubs
The code-share will also be available on all of both carriers’ long-haul flights between China and the U.S.
Post-SkyTeam Departure Moves
Less than one week before announcing the new relationship with American Airlines, the Chinese airline announced its departure from Skyteam, looking to “better align with the new trend of co-operation model in today’s global aviation industry and the evolution of alliances.”
China Southern said that it would “explore possibilities to establish new partnerships with advanced airlines around the world, promote bilateral and multilateral co-operation, and provide quality services to passengers around the world.”
Since then, the Chinese carrier signed a partnership with American that would represent “an important move in China Southern’s initiative to build new international relationships,” as said by Zhang Lin, Assistant President of China Southern.
With this partnership starting between both carriers, the US-China market will get some intense rivalry.
Delta’s current partnership with China Eastern on all the US-Shanghai flights will see strong competition from all of China Southern’s flights to Shanghai and Beijing.
China Southern announced plans for a dual-hub strategy after a strong 2018. The plan would see the carrier’s Guangzhou hub dual up with a new one in Beijing-Daxing Airport later this year.
The state-owned airline is China’s largest carrier, with over 800 aircraft and more than 100,000 employees stationed around the globe.
With American Airlines’ input coming in from the US to China Southern’s strong hubs in Shanghai and Beijing, this