IN BRIEF | 2018 could see China Southern exit the SkyTeam airline alliance and take a seat at the Oneworld table as the Chinese airline looks to reposition itself on the global stage.
The Guangzhou-based airline is one of China's 'big three' three state-run carriers, alongside fellow SkyTeam member China Eastern (based in Shanghai) and flag carrier Air China, which belongs to Star Alliance.
The South China Morning Post reports China Southern president Tan Wangeng as recently saying the future of its alliance membership was "a sensitive topic", with the airline said to be weighing up the merits and opportunities of Oneworld and Star Alliance.
Oneworld – which counts Qantas and Cathay Pacific among its roster – has no member airline in mainland China. However, Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney denied that membership discussions with China Southern had taken place.
Speaking on the subject of China Southern's rumoured exit from SkyTeam, SkyTeam member Delta Air Lines' Greater China chief Wong Hong told The South China Morning Post “I think we have to accept the reality... it is more for them to think through and decide."