(Yicai Global) Nov. 22 -- China Southern Airlines Co. [NYSE:ZNH] intends to leverage its partnership with American Airlines Inc. [NASDAQ:AAL] to expand China-US routes and increase its competitiveness against local rivals, Jiemian quoted China Southern Airlines General Manager Tan Wangeng as saying.
When it is operational in 2019, the Beijing Daxing International Airport will become China Southern Airlines' second hub, facilitating travel for 50 million outbound and inbound passengers a year, outstripping the airlines' Guangzhou headquarters, which facilitated travel for some 30 million passengers last year, Tan said.
China Southern Airlines plans to operate 250 aircrafts out of Beijing Daxing International Airport and will cooperate with American Airlines to add more flights to the US, he said.
China Southern Airlines' current flights to New York, Los Angeles and other cities are insufficient to meet demand, said Tan in a Bloomberg Television interview. "The market between China and the US is the biggest one," he said. "We hope the frequency reaches a point where people can fly to Beijing for a conference and back to New York in a single day."
The three biggest state-owned airlines in China are vying for high-margin routes connecting the country with major global hubs such as New York, Los Angeles, London and Frankfurt, and Tan is pursing this goal. The Beijing Daxing International Airport will provide more aircraft space for China Southern Airlines Co. [SHA:600029], China Eastern Airlines Corp. [SHA:600115] and other SkyTeam members. This may end Air China Ltd.'s [SHA:601111] dominance for international long-haul routes.