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China Southern Could Take Qatar’s Place in Oneworld

China Southern Could Take Qatar’s Place in Oneworld
Jackie Reddy

Following escalating tensions with alliance member Qantas, Qatar Airways looks to be ready to leave oneworld. While nothing is yet confirmed, The Blue Swan Daily reports that Qatar’s place could be potentially taken by China Southern Airlines, which is due to depart SkyTeam in January 2019.

Following comments made by Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker earlier this month, it would appear that the airline is intent upon departing from the ranks of the oneworld alliance. While the Gulf carrier’s exit from the group has not yet been confirmed, The Blue Swan Daily reports that Qatar’s place in the alliance could potentially be filled by China Southern Airlines.

Earlier this this month, it was announced that the Guangzhou-based carrier is set to depart the SkyTeam alliance in January 2019.

While Qatar’s potential exit from oneworld has been marked by an escalation of tensions between itself and fellow alliance member Qantas over the former’s attempt to gain a foothold in the Australian market, China Southern’s departure from SkyTeam is appears to be more straightforward.

Offering its comments on the announcement in a statement earlier this month, SkyTeam said, “China Southern’s decision reflects its strategic development, the changing trends of the global aviation industry and the evolution of alliances.”

China Southern will have been a SkyTeam member for 11 years upon its departure from the alliance.

The outlet observes that while the potential departure of Qatar Airways from oneworld is certainly worth noting, its entry into the mainland Chinese aviation market “would mean so much more.”

Further explaining, the outlet adds that, “The oneworld network in China is currently limited to the markets served by its foreign membership and dominated by the activities of Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific. The potential arrival of China Southern, the nation’s largest domestic carrier and second-largest international operator, will provide oneworld with a major hub in Guangzhou at Baiyun International Airport, but also an opportunity to grow in the capital city, Beijing.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (10)


  1. bennytma

    November 28, 2018 at 5:45 am

    You should be much clearer in your writing. CZ could literally take QR’s “place” in oneworld but it would not replace QR’s route network. Does CZ fly to ZNZ? JIB? JRO? WDH? NJF? BSR? Adding domestic Chinese destinations doesn’t take the place of a bunch of African or Middle Eastern destinations. So I’m not sure in what sense you mean CZ would take QR’s place in oneworld.

  2. davem4

    November 28, 2018 at 7:35 am

    We already have JL, CX and MH in Asia. Admitting China Southern is a surefire way to lower the customer experience, as well as potentially push CX further out of the alliance.

  3. makrom

    November 28, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Why is this always portrayed like some sort of swap? It’s not like OW has a limited amount of slots. These two events would merely coincidentally happen around the same time.

  4. GetSetJetSet

    November 28, 2018 at 8:30 am

    I’d rather keep QR

  5. strickerj

    November 28, 2018 at 10:45 am

    I guess they’ll take anyone that meets their requirements and pays their dues, but aren’t China Southern and Cathay Pacific’s bases of operations only 80 miles apart? That seems like a lot of overlap in service.

  6. Cofyknsult

    November 28, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Qatar Airways has large participations in BA, IB, and LATAM. They have no home market and have everything to lose in terms of connecting passengers if they leave OW (unless of course they switch alliances). Grandstanding by Littlegenious (as in Little and Genious, really) is nothing new and it works.

    I do not see how HKG and CAN can both become hubs for OW carriers. Neither will happen

  7. tenn_ace

    November 28, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Shouldn’t Qantas leave and form an alliance with EK?

  8. pochi

    November 28, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    QR leave ow is not a wise option. Qatar herself was blocked by other middle east country, both ground and air. If they leave right now, without alliance, there transit customer will not be that more. Overall, most OW was indeed a Qatar investment. IAG(BA&IB), LATAM, CX. If QR left, will they leave as well?

  9. wesheltonj

    November 29, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Emirates would be a better fit, should Qatar actually leave.

  10. D3KingAmerican

    November 29, 2018 at 8:25 am

    China Southern would be a good fit for One World. China Southern does not compete in the same upscale market as CX . American is desperate for a partner in mainland China because they have failed to make profits on Shanghai and Beijing routes despite the China market growing at an exponential rate. China Southern could help CX compete with the low cost carriers in mainland China. We need China Southern in One World.

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