Qantas and China Southern Airlines signed (02-Dec-2013) their first reciprocal codeshare agreement. Under the deal, Qantas customers will be able to book on China Southern services from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to Guangzhou as well as four onward destinations within China (Sydney–Guangzhou; Melbourne–Guangzhou; Brisbane–Guangzhou; Perth–Guangzhou; Guangzhou–Xiamen; Guangzhou–Kunming;Guangzhou–Fuzhou; and Guangzhou–Ürümqi). In turn, China Southern customers will be able to book on 10 different Qantas routes within Australia and to New Zealand (Sydney-Brisbane; Sydney-Melbourne; Sydney-Cairns; Sydney-Canberra; Sydney-Gold Coast; Sydney-Adelaide; Sydney-Auckland; Melbourne-Adelaide; Melbourne-Brisbane; and Cairns-Brisbane). Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the agreement was part of the airline’s strategy to offer the best travel options between Australia and Asia. He said, “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". He added, “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. China Southern Airlines chairman 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, subject to regulatory approvals. 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 Oct-2013, China Southern launched daily A380 service between Sydney and Guangzhou. [more - original PR]
Qantas and China Southern sign codeshare deal
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Where the A380 flies: Japan and intra-Asia routes decline while Australia & Middle East grow
The A380 is once again under media scrutiny, despite there being no major movement on the type. Comments from Air France and Qantas about not taking further A380s have long been assumed, and it has been apparent that Malaysia Airlines does not even have the need for its A380s. Singapore Airlines not renewing the lease on its first A380 is hardly surprising, and offers no definitive conclusion about the A380 or second-hand market; early A380s had different production and are not as efficient as later models. The lack of movement on the A380neo continues to irk the model's largest customer by far, Emirates, and may not make for a productive relationship as Emirates weighs an A350 or 787 order.
For most, the A380 continues to fly. How and where it flies is changing. Flights to and from the Middle East are becoming more common as Gulf airlines, and mostly Emirates, take delivery of A380s. A further shift to the Middle East is inevitable. In Japan there has been a near exodus of A380s; airlines dropping the type as they moved from Narita to Haneda, which cannot accommodate the A380 during the day, and Singapore Airlines down-gauging. Intra-Asia flying is decreasing – notable given the growth of A380s based in the region. Services by the A380 to Australia are growing, perhaps as it becomes an easy market for airlines to redeploy capacity amid European security concerns and trans-Pacific overcapacity.
South Pacific aviation markets will be defined by China’s expansion
The nature of the South Pacific's geography makes finding the right partners for its airlines essential for their survival in international long haul markets – as most are.
The region is characterised by relatively liberal access regimes and by partnerships of varying levels – in New Zealand especially, where Air New Zealand’s international network is dominated by JVs. Virgin Australia has built a ‘virtual alliance’ alongside HNA, Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Delta, with very little of its own metal flying outside Australia. At Qantas Group, international performance has improved markedly following its Emirates partnership, as its operating focus has shifted from Europe toward Asia and North America, with local JVs, and close partnerships with American Airlines and China Eastern continuing to grow and mature.
For all airlines in the region, the China market will define much of the growth over the coming decade. (This report is taken from the Jul/Aug-2016 issue of CAPA's Airline Leader)