China Southern will launch its flagship Airbus A380 on Sydney-Guangzhou flights from October 27.
The superjumbo will slot into the daily CZ325/326 service, which departs Sydney at 9.50am to reach Guangzhou at 5.30pm.
Further down the track Sydney is also tipped to see China Southern's Boeing 787, the airline says.
Melbourne's daily CZ service to Guangzhou will be upgraded to an Airbus A330-300 by the end of October.
Travellers continuing to London on China Southern's 'Canton Route' will have the option of breaking their journey at Guangzhou for up to 72 hours without a visa, under new transit permit rules to be introduced later this year.
"We are absolutely thrilled that Australians will soon be able to stop over in this vibrant city for up to 72 hours to try some authentic Cantonese Yum Cha, enjoy the local culture and shop til they drop" said China Southern Executive Vice President Mr Chen Gang.
No 'A380 all the way' on the Canton Route
However, Chen said that China Southern was currently unable to offer an A380 service between Guangzhou and London due to the airline having only five A380s in its fleet.
"We have more Airbus A330s and Boeing 777-300s" than A380s, Chen told Australian Business Traveller, and also tipped that the Boeing 787 might also find its way onto the London leg.
China Southern currently runs only one international A380 service, that being between Guangzhou and Los Angeles.
The airline's other A380 routes are all within China, including the world's shortest A380 trip of just over two hours between Guangzhou and Shanghai.
Inside China Southern's Airbus A380
CZ's A380 represents a substantial upgrade from the Airbus A330s currently used between Sydney and Guangzhou with improvements from tip to tail.
At the front of the main deck you'll find the first class Platinum Private Suites. These SQ-style suites are ensconced by shoulder-height walls and refreshingly bling-free, outfitted in a calm and elegant royal purple.
The eight suites on board are laid out across two rows, in a 1-2-1 configuration, with the slide-down divider between the middle pairs allowing for a chat with your travelling companion or colleague en route.
The seat controls and extra-large table are found in the handy armrest, which is itself a pleasing size for marshalling all your first class gear.
Most of the upper deck is given over to the airline's confusingly-named business class offering, which China Southern dubs as 'First Class' – good luck trying to swing that one past your company's travel manager when it comes to booking a business trip!
Frequent flyers may be familiar with these types of seats – they're made by EADS Sogerma and adopt a staggered layout with direct aisle access for every passenger.
Simple and clean lines are the order of the day once more for China Southern, with a calm and rather corporate light blue seat and off-white plastic surrounding shell.
The centre pairs (E and F seats on China Southern) are the seats to pick if you're travelling with your other half, and the seats to skip if you're not.
We'd also suggest avoiding the aisle seats on the side and in the middle (C and H on the CZ seatmap) skip since your elbows will be right out in the aisles, ready to be banged by the first trolley or passenger that goes past.
That all makes the A and K window seats, which have a large armrest/cocktail table between you and the rest of the plane, plus a few inches extra bed length, the ones to snag.
And, of course, you get the elbow room on the other side from the window storage bins – all up, the extra surface area makes for a very practical 'office in the sky'.
Looking more closely at the seat, you'll find the controls sensibly up where the contents of your pockets won't brush up against them.
A water bottle holder sits in the corner, with a full universal power point at a handy spot right next to your arm.
We like the clever recessed cupholder/plateholder too: no glasses sliding around here.
Economy class (refreshingly named 'Economy Class') is towards the back of the main cabin in the usual 3-4-3 seat layout.
If you're flying to China in the cheap sets we suggest booking into in the smaller upstairs economy cabin: this sports a roomier 2-4-2 layout with extra elbow and surface space plus more personal storage area for passengers in window seats.
(The seats you want are rows 70 through 78 - avoid row 79, which is a middle block of four seats flanked by the toilets, galley and crew area.)
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