Qatar Airways recently announced the first stage of codeshare cooperation with China Southern Airlines had begun with the Chinese carrier placing its code on Qatar Airways flights between Guangzhou and Doha. Flights are already available for sale with the first codeshare flights starting today.
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. The 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. The next stage of the codeshare agreement will see the Chinese carrier also place its code on Qatar Airways flights between Beijing and Doha, once the current restrictions for flights in and out of China are lifted.
Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Thierry Antinori, said: “We are delighted to begin codeshare cooperation with China Southern Airlines, providing our passengers seamless connectivity via the Best Airport in the Middle East to more than 60 destinations across Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Since Qatar Airways Group’s investment in China Southern Airlines in 2018, our two airlines have worked closely to develop opportunities to enhance the customer experience for our millions of passengers travelling via the Best Airport in the Middle East, Hamad International Airport. The beginning of codeshare flights is the natural first step and we look forward to further deepening our close relationship with China Southern Airlines in the future.”
China Southern Airlines SVP Corporate and International Relations, Mr. Wu Guoxiang, said: “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. Qatar Airways is a Five-Star Airline by SKYTRAX, with award-winning inflight service and innovative products and China Southern is committed to developing world-class service brands that combine ‘affinity and refinement’ to deliver an extraordinary travel experience to all passengers.”
Qatar Airways strategic investment in a variety of fuel-efficient twin-engine aircraft, including the largest fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, has enabled it to continue flying throughout this crisis and perfectly positions it to lead the sustainable recovery of international travel. The airline recently took delivery of three new state-of-the-art Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, increasing its total A350 fleet to 52 with an average age of just 2.6 years. Due to COVID-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline has grounded its fleet of Airbus A380s as it is not environmentally justifiable to operate such a large four-engine aircraft in the current market. Qatar Airways has also recently launched a new programme that enables passengers to voluntarily offset the carbon emissions associated with their journey at the point of booking.
The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 100 destinations and plans to increase to 129 by the end of March 2021. With more frequencies being added to key hubs, Qatar Airways offers unrivalled connectivity to passengers, making it easy for them to change their travel dates or destination if they need to. Qatar Airways also remains committed to honouring passenger refunds, paying out over USD $1.65 billion since March 2020.