China Southern to depart SkyTeam
After signing various agreements and holding lengthy discussions, China Southern has announced their plans to depart the SkyTeam Alliance.
From the 1st of January, 2019, China Southern will no longer be apart of SkyTeam, marking an end to their 11 year history within the alliance. They were the first mainland Chinese airline to join the alliance when they were officially welcomed in 2007.
Removal from the alliance won’t be a small job and the airline says it will take until the end of 2019 to complete all necessary work, including the removal of any special decals or liveries on aircraft and leaving any cards, points or membership programs affiliated with SkyTeam and its airlines.
The idea of leaving SkyTeam was first reported in 2017, which at the time, was when American Airlines completed a $200 million investment for a 2.68% stake in China Southern. This investment has lead to both carriers developing a strong relationship, with the use of codeshares across both sides.
Additionally, agreements have been signed with British Airways and the codeshares with Qantas will remain.
China Southern hopes to revive their business model to compete with large airlines and to spark new life into their passenger experience across their services around the globe.
Customers using these services are ensured the departure will be done professionally and with as much support as possible. No major problems are expected to occur.