China Southern to stay independent on its road towards becoming the world’s largest carrier
China Knowledge Online
Jun 24, 2019

Jun 24, 2019 (China Knowledge) - China Southern Airlines aims to become the world’s largest carrier within the next three years and will not be planning to join any major industry groups or alliances before 2021.

Instead, China Southern plans to form partnerships with a number of major carriers after leaving the Skyteam Alliance, one of the three major airlines alliances that most established airlines hope to join.

According to senior vice-president Wu Guoxiang, China Southern is already the largest carrier in Asia and will become the largest in the world within 3 to 5 years, thus the company needs greater flexibility in its operations and will instead choose to form bilateral cooperation with certain carriers.

Previously, China Southern had been part of the Skyteam Alliance for 11 years, benefiting from flying passengers on partner airlines in the Skyteam Alliance and selling connecting tickets to widen its brand presence.

Since becoming independent, China Southern has entered a number of partnerships with carriers in the Oneworld Alliance such as British Airways, Finnair and American Airlines and has been seen as a strong candidate to join the alliance.

China Southern group which carried more than 140 million passengers last year and flew more than 840 passenger and cargo planes across its various carriers is expected to have 2,000 aircrafts by 2035, hitting the 1,000 aircraft mark in 2021.

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