Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines will be flying to 24 international destinations this August. However, China’s tough “Five One” policy still only allows mainland carriers to fly just one flight a week on most routes of their international networks. Consequently, despite China Southern’s network reach, its frequencies remain thin.
China Southern flights to five continents in August
The focus of China Southern’s international flights across August is its regional neighborhood of Asia. But the airline is also operating flights to North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
China Southern will fly between Guangzhou (CAN) and Los Angeles (LAX) twice weekly and Guangzhou and Vancouver (YVR) once a week. Flights between Guangzhou and Paris (CDG) and Guangzhou and Amsterdam (AMS) will also operate weekly.
Both Sydney (SYD) and Melbourne (MEL) will see weekly China Southern Airbus A380 flights from Guangzhou in August. Auckland (AKL) will get twice-weekly flights from Guangzhou. China Southern will operate two weekly flights to Nairobi (NBO). One flight will operate between Shenzhen (SZX) and Nairobi, while the second flight will run between Changsha (CSX) and Nairobi. China Southern does brisk business ferrying goods manufactured in industrial cities like Changsha over to Kenya.
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China Southern Asian flights focus on Guangzhou
The remainder of China Southern’s international destinations in August are spread across Asia. Destinations range from Islamabad in the west to Jakarta in the south. While most flights will use Guangzhou as their starting point, Shenzhen, Wuhan, and Shenyang are hosting some China Southern international flights.
The weekly flight to Islamabad (ISB) will operate to and from Wuhan (WUH). China Southern will fly to Jakarta (CGK) from Shenzhen once a week. Two services will operate from Shenyang (SHE). That includes a weekly service to Seoul (ICN) and a weekly service to Tokyo Narita (NRT).
Both Seoul and Tokyo Narita will also see China Southern flights from Guangzhou. The remainder of China Southern’s international flights will arrive and depart from Guangzhou. Those flights include weekly services to Phnom Penh (PNH), Ho Chi Minh City (SGN), Vientiane (VYE), Yangon (RGN), Bangkok (BKK), Manila (MNL), Singapore (SIN), and Dhaka (DAC). In addition, twice-weekly China Southern flights will run between Guangzhou and Kuala Lumpur (KUL).
China Southern Airlines facing some headwinds
The constantly changing flying environment continues to challenge China Southern and other Chinese airlines, particularly those with international networks. China Southern carried 8.5 million passengers in June. That’s a 19% improvement on the previous June but 28% down on the May 2021 numbers.
Reflecting a conservative Asia-wide approach to relaxing border and travel restrictions, aside from its own citizens returning home, China’s borders remain closed to nearly all travelers.
Meanwhile, it’s not just Southern China’s international networks feeling the pinch. FlightGlobal reports China’s big three airlines saw their third consecutive month-on-month decline in domestic passenger traffic in June.
While the deep pockets of the Chinese Government – China Southern’s ultimate owners, means the big airline can keep flying indefinitely, many of these passenger flights are subsidized by carrying cargo. China’s “Five One” policy doesn’t include purely cargo flights, so an international airport that normally handles high levels of imports from China may see several China Southern flights each week. However, usually, only one of those flights will be bringing in and flying out passengers.