China Southern to leave SkyTeam, join Oneworld?

By David Flynn, November 27 2017
China Southern to leave SkyTeam, join Oneworld?

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."


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jun 2013

Total posts 28

Hopefully Oneworld!

15 Apr 2017

Total posts 2

Most probably oneworld, given the AA investment.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2017

Total posts 54

I'd LOVE to see OW has a major airline in mainland China!

21 Sep 2011

Total posts 69

The article never said CZ would enter Star but was referring to CZ joining oneworld which could prompt CX to leave onworld and join part owner CA in Star.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1387

Could CZ go to Star, and CA switch to oneworld alongside CX

21 Sep 2011

Total posts 69

No, CA has JV with Star members LH, AC, UA, LH, NZ, etc, too important to leave.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 439

I think CX would have something to say about CZ joining Oneworld. Oneworld has also always been an alliance of premium airlines of which CZ is not.

28 Nov 2017

Total posts 2

Kidding me? Air berline, s7, & sri lanken, r they premium carriers?

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 337

Neither is British Airways these days

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 178

Not sure Sri Lankan or Royal Jordanian would be classed as 'premium airlines'. I'd say they are pretty much on the level of CZ.

28 Nov 2017

Total posts 2

The most important thing is ow has no network in mainland i guess. This is an issue for AA.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

17 Mar 2016

Total posts 42

I wonder what this would mean for Xiamen Air, who are majority owned by China Southern but strongly independently managed. Can they stay in SkyTeam while CS moves across to Oneworld? Might they try to have a foot in both camps?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 May 2016

Total posts 18

Wonderful, I hope China Southern join Oneworld. Oneworld need a Chinese airline!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Apr 2017

Total posts 130

I’d be happy if they joined either tbh. I have a stack of points with Lufthansa and Qantas. I’ve just lost my SkyTeam status so was actually going to use China Southern for status runs next year.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on China Southern to leave SkyTeam, join Oneworld?