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China Southern Airlines ( ) ( , , ) is an airline headquartered in Baiyun Districtmarker, Guangzhoumarker, Guangdongmarker, People's Republic of Chinamarker. China Southern operates domestic, regional and international services. In 2008, China Southern was the world's 5th largest airline by passenger carried, Asia's largest airline in terms of both fleet size and in passengers carried. It is also the 4th largest in the world in domestic passenger traffic and 6th largest in scheduled domestic passenger-kilometres flown. China Southern carries more domestic cargo than any other airline. It is a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance.

Its main operation hubs are Guangzhou Baiyun International Airportmarker and Beijing Capital International Airportmarker, with other focus cities at Changchun Longjia International Airportmarker, Changsha Huanghua International Airportmarker, Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airportmarker, Shenyang Taoxian International Airportmarker,Shenzhen Bao'an International Airportmarker, Urumqi Diwopu International Airportmarker, Wuhan Tianhe International Airportmarker, and Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airportmarker.

China Southern Airlines is also accredited by IATA with the IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) for its safety practices.


The airline started operations in 1989. In 1996, China Southern began long haul intercontinental routes with the first route being the Guangzhou-Beijing-Amsterdam route. In March 1997, the next route was the transpacific Guangzhou-Los Angeles, which is currently China Southern's longest flight. It also made history of being the 1st airline to fly a Boeing 777 twin engine non-stop across the Pacific. In June 1997, China Southern Airlines initial public stock offering on the New Yorkmarker and Hong Kongmarker stock exchanges generated over $700 million. In July 2000, it also added 2 more long haul routes to Sydney and Melbourne. Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) selected China Southern as one of three airlines to lead the restructuring of China's air transport industry. It acquired Zhongyuan Airlines on 4 August 2000. In January 2003 the airline absorbed China Northern Airlines and its subsidiaries Beiya Airlines and China Northern Swan, as well as China Xinjiang Airlines, into its domestic operations. In November 2004 the acquisition was completed as China Southern acquired the holding company that owned China Northern and China Xinjiang .

In 2004, the company achieved a turnover of around 40 million passengers, becoming one of the top ten passenger carriers in the world. Among all Chinese airlines, it boasts the largest fleet with the most bases, most extensive domestic networks and highest flight frequencies. Renowned for its excellent passenger services, the airline has won Five-star Diamond Award for flight services and has been honoured as China's best airline by TTG Asia Magazine.

The airline is owned by China Southern Air Holding (50.3%), private Hong Kongmarker and non-China investors (H shareholders) (26.84%) and private China investors (A shareholders) (22.86%). It has 34,417 employees as at March 2007.

In 2007, China Southern Airlines overtook both All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines in terms of passenger numbers to become Asia's largest airline in passengers carried. Also, out of all the major airlines in the world (excluding low cost), it is the fastest growing airline in Asia by fleet size. It will also announce a large scale international boost, after rapidly increasing services to other countries, with both hubs in Guangzhou and Beijing.

The airline signed a Memorandum of Understanding on August 28, 2004 with the SkyTeam alliance. On November 15th, 2007, China Southern was officially welcomed as the 11th full member of the SkyTeam alliance, thus becoming the first mainland Chinese airline to enter a global airline alliance.

On January 15, 2009 the airline was the first Mainland China airline to open a branch office in Taiwan.



The China Southern Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of June 2009):
China Southern Airlines Fleet
Type In
Orders Passengers
Airbus A300-600R 5 To be converted to Freighters
Airbus A319-100 37 4 128 (0/8/120) 27 leased
Airbus A320-200 46 24 158 (0/8/150) 10 leased
Airbus A321-200 38 19 185 (0/16/169) 20 leased
Airbus A330-200 6 10 264 (0/24/240)
Airbus A330-300 8 292 (4/24/264) New 3-class interiors
Airbus A380-800 5 Entry into service: 2011
ATR 72-500 5 72 (0/0/72)
Boeing 737-300 27 145 (0/0/145) 12 leased
Boeing 737-500 2 132 (0/0/132) both leased
Boeing 737-700 29 28 145 (0/0/145) 11 leased
Boeing 737-800 45 36 167 (0/8/159) 21 leased
Boeing 757-200 20 200 (0/8/192)
Boeing 777-200 4 380 (0/24/356) To be sold
Boeing 777-200ER 6 292 (18/65/209)
282 (24/51/207)
Premier Economy Class
Boeing 787-8 10 TBA Entry into service: 2011
Embraer ERJ-145 6 50 (0/0/50)
McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 13 157 (0/12/145)
Total 297 136
In June 2007, China Southern transferred 3 Airbus A320's to its new subsidiary Chongqing Airlines.

In Oct. 27th of 2008, as the last MD-82 operator in China, China Southern Airlines finally retired its 12 MD-82 aircraft. This officially ended the use of MD-82 in China. The company is also planning to replace them with the more efficient Airbus A321.


A freight branch of China Southern Airlines, China Southern Cargo, serves points in USA, Europe and Asia.
China Southern Cargo Fleet
Type In
Orders Notes
Airbus A300-600RF 1 5 more in passenger use to be added later after freighter conversion
Boeing 747-400F 2
Boeing 777-F 6 2 777-Fs sent to desert immediately.
Total 3 6

Average fleet age is 6.6 years as of October 2007.

Aircraft orders

  • Delivery of the first Airbus A330-243 to China Southern Airlines took place on 25 February 2005. It is the first operator of the type in China and has a further two on order due for delivery in the first half of 2005. The aircraft seats 266 passengers and will be operated mainly on medium and long range routes, including some possible new international routes.
  • In May 2005, China Southern Airlines signed an agreement with Airbus for the purchase of 5 Airbus A380-800 aircraft for delivery in time for the 2008 Olympics. It is the first commitment for the type from a Chinese carrier. China Southern has also signed initial agreement for the purchase of 10 Boeing 787 aircraft. The aircraft would be delivered between 2008 and 2010. However, due to delivery delays, the aircraft have not been delivered, as of July 2009.
  • On 6 September 2005, China Southern Airlines along with CASGC placed an order for 10 Airbus A330-200 wide-body airliners including 8 A330-300s and 2 A330-200s. Aircraft deliveries were due to begin in December 2007 and continue through 2008.
  • In December 2005, China Southern Airlines along with CASGC announced an order with Boeing for 9 Boeing 737-700 and 11 Boeing 737-800s. In June 2006, China Southern Airlines confirmed another order of 3 B737-700s and 7 B737-800s. The deliveries will continue through 2010.
  • On 7 July 2006, China Southern Airlines has confirmed a deal with Airbus covering the purchase of 50 more A320 narrowbodies for delivery from 2009. The order includes 13 A319-100s, 20 A320-200s and 17 A321-200s.
  • On 19 October 2006, China Southern Airlines placed an order for 6 Boeing 777 freighters, striding forward a brand new step in its cargo development. The aircraft will be delivered from November 2008 to July 2010.
  • On August 20, 2007, China Southern Airlines announced its intention for an order of 25 Boeing 737-700 and 30 Boeing 737-800, which will be delivered from May 2011 to October 2013. It may become one of the world's largest Boeing 737 operators.
  • On October 23, 2007, China Southern Airlines announced that it has placed an order for 10 additional Airbus A330-200. The order has a listed price of $1.677 billion US and the aircraft will be delivered from March 2010 to August 2012.

Codeshare agreements

China Southern Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:

Incidents and accidents

  • On October 2, 1990, a hijacked Xiamen Airlines Boeing 737 crashed into a China Southern Airlines Boeing 757, killing people in both aircraft. See Guangzhou Baiyun aircraft collision
  • On November 24, 1992, Flight 3943, a Boeing 737 jetliner (Reg. ), crashed into a hill near Guilinmarker, Guangxi, killing all 141 on board, due to an engine thrust malfunction.
  • On May 8, 1997, Flight 3456, a Boeing 737-300 jetliner (Reg. ), crashed on approach into Shenzhen Bao'an International Airportmarker killing 35, with 9 injured.
  • On August 22, 2006, flight CZ325 from Guangzhou, China to Sydney, Australia had to be turned back to Guangzhou after a note had been found indicating a bomb was on board. The plane was returned to Guangzhou after one hour into the flight. Passengers were interviewed by police for two hours after landing, after which they were allowed back onto the plane to resume their journey. A 39-year-old Australian businessman of Hong Kong origin was arrested after Chinese police matched his handwriting with that of the threatening note found in the lavatory. He was alleged to have told police that he had made the threat because he was lovesick and suffering from depression over a failed relationship, the Xinhua news agency was quoted as saying.
  • On March 7, 2008, an attempt to hijack and crash a flight en route to Beijing from Urumqimarker was averted when the crew found a 19 year old Turkic woman trying to spill gasoline in the toilet. The pilot made an emergency landing at Lanzhou Airport and two passengers were arrested.


  1. " China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd." BNet. Retrieved on October 3, 2009.
  2. China Southern Airlines website, in Chinese
  3. IATA
  4. China Southern Announces Large-Scale International Boost; World's Fastest Growing Airline To Launch 10 New International Routes; Guangzhou To Serve As Hub In Major Airline Expansion. | M2 Presswire | Find Articles at
  5. SkyTeam FAQ and Travel Tips - SkyTeam
  6. Newsticker - Nachrichten-Newsticker von Welt Online - ständig aktuelle Nachrichten und Informationen - WELT ONLINE
  7. " China Southern Airlines opens branch in Taipei." China Daily. January 15, 2009. Retrieved on January 25, 2009.
  10. China Southern Airlines Fleet Age
  11. Airliner World, April 2005
  12. Airbus A330-300 / A330-343
  13. 波音新闻:中国150架波音737订单全部确认
  14. 波音新闻:中国南方航空公司宣布订购波音777货机
  15. China Southern to order 55 more 737s Flight Global, 21 August 2007
  16. China Southern Airlines to buy 10 A330-200s - International Herald Tribune
  17. AirDisaster.Com Accident Database
  18. " Jet Crashes in China, Killing 141; 5th Serious Accident in 4 Months." The New York Times.
  19. AirDisaster.Com Accident Database
  20. [1]
  21. Aussie arrested over China plane threat
  22. China detains Australian for airline bomb threat: report. 23/08/2006. ABC News Online
  23. BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | China says militant plots foiled

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