In a recent development, one that is definitely good news for both the tourism business of Australia and for Qantas customers, Qantas and China Southern have signed a reciprocal codeshare agreement, the first between the two.
As a part of the codeshare agreement, passengers flying Qantas will now be able to book China Southern services from the major hubs of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to Guangzhou and four additional cities in China. Guangzhou, incidentally, is the third largest city in China and the biggest transport hub.
In turn China Southern passengers will now be able to book Qantas services to ten different routes in Australia and New Zealand. This codeshare agreement is certainly going to help Chinese travellers to visit more cities in Australia and New Zealand.
Chief Executive Officer of the Qantas Group, Alan Joyce mentioned while speaking on the occasion in Guangzhou, that the move is in keeping with the airlines’ policy to provide the best possible options to passengers flying between Australia and Asia.
Mr. Joyce added, “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.”
“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.
My. Joyce also added that, “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”.
Also speaking on the occasion, chairman of China Southern, Si Xianmin mentioned, “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”.
As a part of the deal the two airlines have also decided to extend co-operation in other areas such as pilot training and cargo opportunities. Bookings on the new codeshare services are expected to be made open sometime in early 2014.
This codeshare announcement has come close on the heels of the recent initiatives by Qantas to improve their presence in Asia. These initiatives include changes in schedule, improved onward connections, lounge upgrades in Singapore and Hong Kong plus a massive up gradation of the airlines’ A330 fleet that will start operational from 2014 year end.
On their part, China Southern, in October of this year started a daily A380 service between Sydney and Guangzhou.