Is a Qantas/China Southern alliance on the way?

By David Flynn, December 2 2013
Is a Qantas/China Southern alliance on the way?

Update | Qantas and China Southern have confirmed they will enter a limited codeshare alliance effective from early 2014.

Previous | Speculation is mounting that Qantas may add China Southern to its list of partners as the Flying Kangaroo seeks to fill the Chinese gap in its network.

The tie-up would reportedly take the form of a codeshare agreement which would see China Southern's flights able to be booked and sold within Australia as a Qantas flight carrying a QF flight number.

It could also allow travellers to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer status credits and points on eligible China Southern flights, along with reciprocal perks such as lounge access.

Qantas currently has only one flight into China, in the form of its daily Sydney-Shanghai service, although the Qantas Group continues to work on the launch of Jetstar Hong Kong with partner China Eastern.

Earlier this year, in a media briefing following Qantas' 2012-2013 financial results, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce observed that "our Asia strategy is not a 'big bang', there isn't a single big deal that will solve the issues".

"There isn't an Asian 'silver bullet', there's no single carrier like Emirates" he expanded. "You have to work individual markets and work with the best players in each market."

China Southern's hub of Guangzhou is the country's third-largest city and sits at the heart of the southern manufacturing region, as well as being home to the massive twice-yearly Canton Trade Fair.

The airline has been steadily increasing its Australian flights and in October introduced a daily Airbus A380 as one of its two daily Sydney-Guangzhou services.

China Southern is also promoting its Canton Route from Australia to London, Paris and Amsterdam via Guangzhou as an alternative to the Kangaroo Route, with competitive fares undercutting those of major airlines by as much as 30% – although the airline admits that it needs to lift its oft-criticised levels of service.

Read: China Southern promises better meals, more Aussie crew

Joyce's previous push into Asia centred on a multimillion dollar investment in creating a new premium airline, codenamed Red Q, which was to be based in either Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, although the plans were shelved in November 2011.

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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

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1377

Would seem somewhat odd to have connections and codeshares to both China Eastern and China Southern (admittedly both being skyteam members is also odd)

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

16 May 2011

Total posts 112

Well both CZ & MU are partners, who work closely with one another and both serve different markets in China, as China is a large country, it makes sense for QF to partner with both.

This will allow more seemless connections to/from China, filling the void for no OW partner in China. Theres really no other alternative!

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 733

>Qantas currently has only one flight into China, in the form of its daily Sydney-Shanghai service, although the Qantas Group continues to work on the launch of Jetstar Hong Kong with partner China Eastern.

That's funny, I coulda sworn that Qantas flies to HKG from several Australian cities, and that Hong Kong has been (like it or not) part of China since 1997.

28 Sep 2012

Total posts 9

In the aviation world (traffic rights etc), HKG is very much distinct from China. This is a key part of HKG's Basic Law.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 232

I think it makes sense in that you can have a one hop service to most places in China without the need to back track.
I really hope status credits will be included in any partnership and Qantas 'encourages' China Southern to improve the quality of its services.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 784

Funny stuff. We have this rumour that QF wants to codeshare with China Southern yet in other news "Qantas said to be pushing deputy prime minister Warren Truss to revoke the international flying rights of Virgin Australia". So QF doesn't want to send their own metal to open up new markets for themselves and they don't want anyone else to as well. Joyce needs a slap. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 580

It's no longer a rumor. Qantas has announced it on their news room website. Unfortunately it appears to be only a codesharing agreement, with no frequent flyer perks at this stage.

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