China Southern Airlines (Simplified Chinese: 中国南方航空公司) (, ) is an airline based in Guangzhou in the Guangdong province of the People's Republic of China operating domestic, regional and international services. China Southern is the world's 7th largest airline by passenger carried in 2007, and Asia's largest airline in terms of fleet size, the largest in Asia in passengers carried, also the 7th busiest in domestic passenger traffic and the 7th largest in scheduled domestic passenger-kilometres flown worldwide. China Southern is the largest in the People's Republic of China in terms of passengers carried. China Southern carries more domestic cargo than any other airline. It is a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance.
Its main operation hubs are Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport, with other focus cities at Shenyang Taoxian International Airport, Urumqi Diwopu International Airport, Changchun Longjia International Airport,
Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport, Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport and Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport.
China Southern Airlines is also accredited by IATA with the IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) for its safety practices.
The airline started operations in 1989
. In 1996, China Southern began long haul intercontinental routes with the first route being the Guangzhou-Beijing-Amsterdam route. In March 1997, the next route was the transpacific Guangzhou-Los Angeles, which is currently China Southern's longest flight. It also made history of being the 1st airline to fly a Boeing 777 twin engine non-stop across the Pacific. In June 1997, China Southern Airlines initial public stock offering on the New York
and Hong Kong
stock exchanges generated over $700 million. In July 2000
, it also added 2 more long haul routes to Sydney and Melbourne. Civil Aviation Administration of China
(CAAC) selected China Southern as one of three airlines to lead the restructuring of China's air transport industry. It acquired Zhongyuan Airlines
on 4 August 2000
. In January 2003 the airline absorbed China Northern Airlines
and its subsidiaries Beiya Airlines and China Northern Swan, as well as China Xinjiang Airlines
, into its domestic operations. In November 2004 the acquisition was completed as China Southern acquired the holding company that owned China Northern and China Xinjiang .
In 2004, the company achieved a turnover of around 40 million passengers, becoming one of the top ten passenger carriers in the world. Among all Chinese airlines, it boasts the largest fleet with the most bases, most extensive domestic networks and highest flight frequencies. Renowned for its excellent passenger services, the airline has won Five-star Diamond Award for flight services and has been honoured as China's best airline by TTG Asia Magazine.
The airline is owned by China Southern Air Holding (50.3%), private Hong Kong and non-China investors (H shareholders) (26.84%) and private China investors (A shareholders) (22.86%). It has 34,417 employees as at March 2007.
In 2007, China Southern Airlines overtook both All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines in terms of passenger numbers to become Asia's largest airline in passengers carried. Also, out of all the major airlines in the world (excluding low cost), it is the fastest growing airline in Asia by fleet size. It will also announce a large scale international boost, after rapidly increasing services to other countries, with both hubs in Guangzhou and Beijing.
The airline signed a Memorandum of Understanding on August 28, 2004 with the SkyTeam alliance. On November 15th, 2007, China Southern was officially welcomed as the 11th full member of the SkyTeam alliance, thus becoming the first mainland Chinese airline to enter a global airline alliance.
On September 10
, China Southern was awarded by CAAC to launch several new daily services to North America and Europe in 2008 and 2009, including Beijing-Newark (beginning July 2008), Guangzhou-Moscow (October 2008), Beijing-Detroit (March 2009), Beijing-London (March 2009), Guangzhou-Vancouver (July 2009). According to unofficial reports, China Southern is also contemplating scheduled service to Riga
, reportedly starting in October 2008. China Southern also has 2 weekly flights from Guangzhou to Los Angeles, and a 10-year anniversary of the Guangzhou-Amsterdam (via Beijng) route in 2007. There are also flights between Paris and Guangzhou. China Southern has announced it will use the new Airbus A380
and Boeing 787
to operate the new routes. Since the delivery of both aircraft has been postponed, detailed information on the new flights has not been announced.
The China Southern Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft as of April 2008:
China Southern Airlines Fleet
Osaka, Lagos, Sydney,
||Domestic, Asia, Hong Kong
||New 3-class interiors |
||Entry into service: 2010 Q2 |
||Domestic, Asia, Tehran
||Domestic, Saipan, Osaka, Tokyo
||To be sold |
||292 (18/65/209) |
|Domestic, Tokyo-Narita, Dubai, |
Sydney (peak season), Melbourne (peak season),
Amsterdam, Paris-CDG and Los Angeles
Premier Economy Class
||Detroit, Newark, Vancouver, Moscow
||Entry into service: July 2009 |
|McDonnell Douglas MD-82
|McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30
In June 2007, China Southern transferred 3 Airbus A320
's to its new subsidiary Chongqing Airlines
A freight branch of China Southern Airlines, China Southern Cargo, serves points in USA, Europe and Asia.
Average fleet age is 6.6 years as of October 2007.
- Delivery of the first Airbus A330-243 to China Southern Airlines took place on 25 February 2005. It is the first operator of the type in China and has a further two on order due for delivery in the first half of 2005. The aircraft seats 266 passengers and will be operated mainly on medium and long range routes, including some possible new international routes.
- In May 2005, China Southern Airlines signed an agreement with Airbus for the purchase of 5 Airbus A380-800 aircraft for delivery in time for the 2008 Olympics. It is the first commitment for the type from a Chinese carrier. China Southern has also signed initial agreement for the purchase of 10 Boeing 787 aircraft. The aircraft would be delivered between 2008 and 2010.
- On 6 September 2005, China Southern Airlines along with CASGC placed an order for 10 Airbus A330 wide-body airliners including 8 A330-300s and 2 A330-200s. Aircraft deliveries were due to begin in December 2007 and continue through 2008.
- In December 2005, China Southern Airlines along with CASGC announced an order with Boeing for 9 B737-700s and 11 B737-800s. In June 2006, China Southern Airlines confirmed another order of 3 B737-700s and 7 B737-800s. The deliveries will continue through 2010.
- On 7 July 2006, China Southern Airlines has confirmed a deal with Airbus covering the purchase of 50 more A320 narrowbodies for delivery from 2009. The order includes 13 A319-100s, 20 A320-200s and 17 A321-200s.
- On 19 October 2006, China Southern Airlines placed an order for 6 Boeing 777 freighters, striding forward a brand new step in its cargo development. The aircraft will be delivered from November 2008 to July 2010.
- On August 20 2007, China Southern Airlines announced its intention for an order of 25 Boeing 737-700s and 30 Boeing 737-800s, which will be delivered from May 2011 to October 2013. It may become one of the world's largest Boeing 737 operators.
- On October 23, 2007, China Southern Airlines announced that it has placed an order for 10 additional Airbus A330-200s. The order has a listed price of $1.677 billion US and the aircraft will be delivered from March 2010 to August 2012.
- Unfortunately due to Airbus' delays with the A380, China Southern Airlines will have the A380 in 2009.
China Southern Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:
Incidents and accidents
- On October 2, 1990, a hijacked Xiamen Airlines Boeing 737 crashed into a China Southern Airlines Boeing 757, killing people in both aircraft. See 1990 People's Republic of China airliner collision
- On November 24, 1992, Flight 3943, a Boeing 737 jetliner (Reg. ), crashed into a hill near Guilin, Guangxi, killing all 141 on board, due to an engine thrust malfunction.
- On May 8 1997, Flight 3456, a Boeing 737-300 jetliner (Reg. ), crashed on approach into Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport killing 35, with 9 injured.
- On August 22 2006, flight CZ325 from Guangzhou, China to Sydney, Australia had to be turned back to Guangzhou after a note had been found indicating a bomb was on board. The plane was returned to Guangzhou after one hour into the flight. Passengers were interviewed by police for two hours after landing, after which they were allowed back onto the plane to resume their journey. A 39-year-old Australian businessman of Hong Kong origin was arrested after Chinese police matched his handwriting with that of the threatening note found in the lavatory. He was allegedly to have told police that he had made the threat because he was lovesick and suffering from depression over a failed relationship, the Xinhua news agency was quoted as saying.
- On March 7 2008, an attempt to hijack and crash a flight en route to Beijing from Urumqi was averted when the crew found a 19 year old Turkic girl trying to spill gasoline in the toilet. The pilot made an emergency landing on Lanzhou airport and two passengers were arrested.