LCCs on China Southern’s wishlist

China Southern Airlines is looking into potential co-operation with low-fare carriers as it seeks to expand its international network and keep up with growing domestic competition.

The carrier, which has plans to more than double its fleet size to 2,000 aircraft by 2035, wants 1,000 aircraft in its fleet within the next two years, according to its president and chief executive officer, Tan Wan Geng. He was speaking at the World Routes event in Guangzhou, China, with Reuters also reporting the airline was looking to fly to South America within the next three years.

China Southern had a fleet of 786 passenger and cargo aircraft at the end of June.

Tan said the airline was looking for ways to cope with a rising number of budget carriers, especially in China and Southeast Asia where it competes for market share. “All major airlines need partners and we are looking into the possibility of establishing more joint ventures. We haven’t tried with low-cost carriers yet, but we are considering how to co-operate with them,” he said, according to Reuters.

China Southern operates out of dual hubs at Guangzhou Baiyun International and Beijing Daxing International airports. Long-haul destinations it is targeting include US, Brazilian and Argentinian cities as well as some potential African markets.

Boeing recently forecast that Chinese airlines would buy 7,690 new aircraft valued at $1.2 trillion over the next two decades. Outbound tourist numbers from China are also estimated to rise to possibly 200 million by 2020, with half of those likely to fly with domestic-based airlines.


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