On December 24th, Qatar Airways announced that it would be moving forward with the first stage of a codeshare with China Southern Airlines. This will see China Southern placing its code on Qatar Airways flights between Guangzhou and Doha effective December 27th, 2020. What does this mean for those traveling between the Middle East and East Asia?
“This codeshare agreement is the first step in the strengthening of cooperation between both airlines, since Qatar Airways acquired 5 per cent of China Southern Airlines in December 2018.” -Qatar Airways via press release
According to Qatar Airways, these new codeshare flights will enable China Southern Airlines’ passengers to book travel on Qatar Airways’ flights between Guangzhou and Doha and onwards to more than 60 destinations in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. While China Southern offers direct service from its Guangzhou hub to Nairobi (Kenya) and some of the largest European cities, this codeshare leverages connections with Qatar Airways and the carrier’s Doha hub to allow for many more destinations on a single itinerary. This should particularly benefit residents of Guangzhou, who are loyal to China Southern Airlines but wish to travel beyond the carrier’s Asia-centric network.
For any travelers, having a single itinerary can be incredibly useful, especially when making multiple stops. Benefits include (in most cases) the onward transfer of baggage to the final destination, a single point of contact should a delay or cancelation occur, and flight protection in the case of a missed connection.
An important step in industry recovery
In the press release shared with Simple Flying, China Southern’s leadership had this to say about the increasing partnership, particularly as it pertains to recovering from the events of 2020:
“We have great expectations for the partnership between Qatar Airways and China Southern Airlines. During 2020, our global airline industry has faced unprecedented challenges and we look forward to an early recovery. We believe that bilateral cooperation will be an important element in the process of industry recovery and greatly promote air connectivity among countries and regions. Our collaboration with Qatar Airways is just one of these powerful combinations. -Mr. Wu Guoxiang, China Southern Airlines SVP Corporate and International Relations
What’s next for the Qatar Airways-China Southern partnership?
The next stage of the codeshare agreement will see China Southern also place its code on Qatar Airways flights between Beijing and Doha. This will only take place once the current restrictions for flights in and out of China are lifted.
Since Qatar Airways Group’s investment in China Southern Airlines in 2018, the two airlines have worked closely to develop opportunities to enhance the customer experience. Qatar Airways says that the beginning of codeshare flights is the natural first step as it looks forward to furthering the close relationship with China Southern Airlines in the future.
What do you think of this new codeshare arrangement between these two major airlines? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment.