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China Southern Leaving SkyTeam in 2019

This week, China Southern announced that it will be leaving the SkyTeam airline alliance in 2019. SkyTeam has sought to reassure customers and partners that this exit will be smooth, and there’s some speculation that the carrier will be joining American Airlines in the Oneworld Alliance. This hasn’t been confirmed.

China Southern has announced that it will be exiting the SkyTeam airline alliance as of 2019, Reuters reports. The company revealed its intention to depart the group on Thursday.

Though no official confirmation has been forthcoming, it has been speculated that the Guangzhou-based airline may join the Oneworld Alliance, where partner American Airlines (AA) currently holds membership. The two carriers have reciprocal code-share arrangements.

In a statement, SkyTeam sought to assure both customers and partners that China Southern’s exit from the alliance would be a smooth one. “China Southern’s decision reflects its strategic development, the changing trends of the global aviation industry and the evolution of alliances,” it said.

Offering her comments, Kristin Colvile, SkyTeam’s CEO said, “Network has always been the foundation of SkyTeam. Our new value proposition retains that strong integrated network and combines it with our continued focus on improving customer experience through technology. China Southern has been a valued member of SkyTeam. We respect its decision and wish it well.”

American’s comments were decidedly more upbeat.

In a statement on Thursday, it said, “China Southern is a terrific partner to American and we commend its innovative leadership team. We are very pleased with the progress we have made so far in our newly formed relationship, including the launch of a reciprocal code-share agreement earlier this year. This news presents a great opportunity for us to continue to expand our relationship with the largest airline in China.”

AA added that it was “excited about our future in the Chinese market.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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Cathay Dragon 666 November 19, 2018

This is huge for OW and good news for me. I am very disappointed at SkyTeam. Most of my travel is in China and if China Southern does indeed join OW, it may be a reason for me to try and be OW DM again.