August 10, 2022
American Airlines Begins Partnership With China Southern

American Airlines Begins Partnership With China Southern

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 viceversa. Moreover, both carriers will place their codes on each of their extended domestic services.

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.

American Airlines’ first Boeing 787 taking off from Paine Field back in 2015. Courtesy: Brandon Farris

“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 partnership will pose as a tremendous threat to the other airlines in the market.

Commercial Pilot, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Aviation MBA, Globetrotter, AS Roma fan, and in my free time, I fly the Airways Ship.

You cannot copy content of this page



  • Get a discount coupon valid for our magazine subscription plans!
  • One (1) spin per email.
Try Your Luck!
Remind later
No thanks