Emirates and China Southern Airlines have signed a memorandum of understanding to progress a comprehensive codeshare agreement, which is set to open up new destinations for passengers travelling 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.
With the UAE’s visa-free policy for Chinese visitors, passengers can also enjoy stopovers in Dubai, a statement said.
“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.
“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,” added 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.”
Emirates currently has codeshare agreements in place with 23 partners around the world.
Source: Arabian Business