19 NOVEMBER 2018
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China Southern led the charge last week as airline alliances came under scrutiny on two fronts, with the Chinese carrier announcing it would not renew its contract with SkyTeam as of 1 January 2019.
In other developments, Qatar Airways and Oman Air also issued unconnected statements on their possible futures within the global alliance network (see Qatar in oneworld dispute in this issue)
On the China Southern front, the company said it will explore “the establishment of new airline partnerships and promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation”, leading to speculation it will now extend its relationship with American Airlines and join oneworld, a competitor to SkyTeam.
The US airline said it was pleased with the newly-formed relationship. It noted Beijing’s new Daxing Airport opens next year and, with further cooperation from China Southern, expected a strong future in the Chinese market.
SkyTeam said China Southern’s decision reflected the airline’s strategic development, the changing trends of the global aviation industry and the evolution of alliances.
Chief executive Kristin Colville added: “Network has always been the foundation of SkyTeam… and China Southern has been a valued member.
"Our new value proposition retains that strong integrated network and combines it with our continued focus on improving customer experience through technology.”
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