Emirates and China Southern Airlines have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to progress a comprehensive reciprocal codeshare agreement, which is set to open up new destinations for passengers traveling between China and the Middle East and Africa.
The partnership with the Guangzhou-based carrier also allows Emirates’ passengers to enjoy seamless connectivity on domestic flights within China, adding eight new destinations to its global network. The Chinese cities covered by the codeshare agreement include Fuzhou, Chongqing, Kunming, Qingdao, Xiamen, Chengdu, Nanjing and Xi ‘an during the initial phase of the partnership, subject to necessary government approvals.
Passengers travelling from China will have more choice and travel seamlessly with minimum connection times, when flying to destinations in Emirates’ Middle East network such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Muscat, Kuwait and Cairo. The codeshare agreement also includes flights to African destinations such as Seychelles and Lagos, operated by Emirates.
With the UAE’s visa-free policy for Chinese visitors, passengers can also enjoy hassle-free stopovers in Dubai, and experience what the city has to offer before flying to their final destinations. The codeshare partnership will provide customers with the simplicity of purchasing connecting flights using one reservation, and a smooth ticketing, check-in, boarding and baggage check experience during the entire journey.
“We’re pleased to establish a partnership with China Southern Airlines, allowing Emirates’ customers to benefit from increased choice, flexibility and ease of connection to different cities across China’s provinces, by connecting in Guangzhou. The addition of the eight domestic routes in the initial stage expands our reach in China, beyond the three Chinese hub cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou,” said Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimisation & Aeropolitical Affairs. “In addition to enhancing our global network, China Southern’s customers will be able to seamlessly travel to destinations within the Middle East and Africa and beyond on a single ticket.”
“Today’s signing is especially monumental for Emirates, as it represents the first codeshare agreement between Emirates and a China-based airline. It is also the largest airline in China by passenger numbers so we are excited by the prospects the agreement brings. This will be an important milestone in our efforts to deepen Emirates’ presence in the Chinese market,” continued Kazim.
“Strengthening cooperation is the long-term strategy of China Southern,” said Han Wensheng, Chief Operating Officer of China Southern Air Holding Company. “Emirates is our first bi-directional partner in the Middle East, and we are very pleased to enter into a codeshare partnership with Emirates. It signifies a key step for China Southern in the process of building new international partnerships. While codesharing is only the start of our cooperation, cooperative opportunities in a wider range of fields such as freight, frequent flyer benefits, lounge access, and airport collaboration will be explored in the future.”
Emirates currently has codeshare agreements in place with 23 partners around the world. With the new codeshare partnership with China Southern Airlines, Emirates customers will be able to enjoy connectivity to over 160 destinations in Asia Pacific.
Emirates operates twice-daily flights to both Beijing and Shanghai in addition to one daily flight to Guangzhou, all operated by the iconic Emirates A380 aircraft.
*This article was originally published by the much-respected Aviation Tribune