China Southern celebrates 20 years in Australia with more capacity expansion

China Southern Airlines is further expanding its operation in Australia this summer and will operate a record 68 weekly flights to Australia during peak periods.

China Southern has expanded rapidly in Australia since 2009, when it carried 138,000 passengers to and from Australia and accounted for only a 0.6% share of Australia’s international market. China Southern’s Australia operation surpassed the 500,000 annual passenger milestone in 2011 and the 1 million annual passenger milestone in 2016.

In 2016 China Southern carried 1.1 million passengers to and from Australia and captured a 2.9% share of Australia’s international market. This made it the seventh largest foreign airline in Australia after Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, AirAsia X and Etihad.

China Southern is celebrating this month its twentieth year in the Australian market. It initially launched services to Australia in Sep-1997. However, services were suspended from Apr-1998 to Dec-2000 and the airline had a small presence in the Australia market until the beginning of this decade.

China Southern currently operates 48 weekly flights to Australia, including 17 to Melbourne and Sydney, seven to Brisbane, four to Perth and three to Adelaide. A year ago, in Sep-2016, China Southern operated 42 weekly flights to Australia. Four years ago, in Sep-2013, it operated 31 weekly flights (based on OAG schedule data).

China Southern plans to operate a record 68 weekly flights to Australia during peak periods this summer (from the second week of December until the end of February). During the same period last year, China Southern had 56 weekly flights to Australia with the exception of two weeks during Chinese New Year, when it had 60 weekly flights.

China Southern weekly one-way frequencies to Australia: Sep-2011 to Feb-2018

Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation & OA

The 68 weekly flights for the peak season this summer include 24 to Melbourne and Sydney, seven to Brisbane, five to Perth and Adelaide and three to Cairns.

China Southern has been the market leader in the Australia-China market since 2010, when it overtook both Air China and China Eastern. Rapid expansion has since enabled China Southern to remain the market leader as the overall market has expanded rapidly. Chinese visitor numbers to Australia have nearly tripled since 2010.

China Southern currently has approximately a 35% share of both frequencies and seat capacity in the Australia-China market. China Southern will account for approximately 35% of the nearly 200 weekly passenger flights from Australia to China which will operated during peak periods this summer.

Rapid growth in Chinese visitor numbers to Australia has enabled China Southern to become one of the leading foreign airlines in Australia – and one of the fastest growing. As the Australia-China market leader, China Southern is well positioned to continue its rapid growth trajectory as the overall market continues to grow rapidly.