Emirates Airline and China Southern Airlines have signed an MOU to pursue a codeshare agreement.
The partnership with China Southern would provide Dubai-based Emirates connectivity on domestic flights in China—to Fuzhou, Chongqing, Kunming, Qingdao, Xiamen, Chengdu, Nanjing and Xi’an—during the initial phase of the agreement, subject to government approval.
The agreement also includes destinations in the Middle East and Africa served by Emirates.
“The addition of the eight domestic routes in the initial stage expands our reach in China, beyond the three Chinese hub cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou,” Emirates divisional SVP-strategic planning, revenue optimization and aeropolitical affairs Adnan Kazim said.
The codeshare agreement is the first between Emirates and a China-based airline.
“Emirates is our first bi-directional partner in the Middle East. It signifies a key step for China Southern in the process of building new international partnerships,” China Southern Air Holding Co. COO Han Wensheng said.
Guangzhou-based China Southern will leave the SkyTeam global alliance at the end of 2019, a move the airline said will allow it to forge closer ties with other carriers.
Emirates and China Southern said cooperation opportunities in areas such as freight, frequent flyer programs, lounge access and airport collaboration will be explored in the future.