Qatar Airways, China Southern Airlines launch codeshare

Qatar Airways has announced that the first stage of codeshare cooperation with China Southern Airlines has begun with the Chinese carrier placing its code on Qatar Airways flights between Guangzhou and Doha.

Flights are already available for sale with the first codeshare flights having started on December 27.

The codeshare agreement is the first step in the strengthening of cooperation between both airlines, since Qatar Airways acquired five per cent of China Southern Airlines in December 2018.

“We are delighted to begin codeshare cooperation with China Southern Airlines, providing our passengers seamless connectivity via the Best Airport in the Middle East to more than 60 destinations across Africa, Europe and the Middle East,” Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori said.

“Since Qatar Airways Group’s investment in China Southern Airlines in 2018, our two airlines have worked closely to develop opportunities to enhance the customer experience for our millions of passengers travelling via the Best Airport in the Middle East, Hamad International Airport. The beginning of codeshare flights is the natural first step and we look forward to further deepening our close relationship with China Southern Airlines in the future.”

The codeshare flights will enable China Southern Airlines’ passengers to book travel on Qatar Airways’ flights between Guangzhou and Doha and onwards to more than 60 destinations in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

The next stage of the codeshare agreement will see the Chinese carrier also place its code on Qatar Airways flights between Beijing and Doha, once the current restrictions for flights in and out of China are lifted.

“We have great expectations for the partnership between Qatar Airways and China Southern Airlines. During 2020, our global airline industry has faced unprecedented challenges and we look forward to an early recovery. We believe that bilateral cooperation will be an important element in the process of industry recovery and greatly promote air connectivity among countries and regions,” China Southern Airlines SVP Corporate and International Relations Wu Guoxiang said.

“Our collaboration with Qatar Airways is just one of these powerful combinations. Qatar Airways is a Five-Star Airline by SKYTRAX, with award-winning inflight service and innovative products and China Southern is committed to developing world-class service brands that combine ‘affinity and refinement’ to deliver an extraordinary travel experience to all passengers.”

Qatar Airways strategic investment in a variety of fuel-efficient twin-engine aircraft, including the largest fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, has enabled it to continue flying throughout this crisis and perfectly positions it to lead the sustainable recovery of international travel.

The airline recently took delivery of three new state-of-the-art Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, increasing its total A350 fleet to 52 with an average age of just 2.6 years.

Due to Covid-19’s impact on travel demand, the airline has grounded its fleet of Airbus A380s as it is not environmentally justifiable to operate such a large four-engine aircraft in the current market.

Qatar Airways has also recently launched a new programme that enables passengers to voluntarily offset the carbon emissions associated with their journey at the point of booking.

The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 100 destinations and plans to increase to 129 by the end of March 2021.

With more frequencies being added to key hubs, Qatar Airways offers unrivalled connectivity to passengers, making it easy for them to change their travel dates or destination if they need to.

Qatar Airways also remains committed to honouring passenger refunds, paying out over $1.65 billion since March.

Passengers can book flights with peace of mind, knowing that Qatar Airways offers unlimited date changes and fee-free refunds for all tickets issued before April 30, 2021, for travel completed by December 31, 2021.

The carrier’s industry-leading flexible booking policy also provides the permanent feature of exchanging tickets for a travel voucher with 10% additional value for all customers booking travel via qatarairways.com.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by Skytrax.

It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite.

The Qsuite seat layout is a 1-2-1 configuration, providing passengers with the most spacious, fully private, comfortable and social distanced Business Class product in the sky.

It is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’ title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.

Qatar Airways was the first airline to resume scheduled flight operations to the Maldives after the island nation reopened its borders on July 15.

The airline now offers three daily flights on the Doha-Male route, with the third frequency operating until January 10, 2021 on Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

The Maldives reopened its borders on July 15.

With the border reopening, 30-day free on-arrival visa is issued to all tourists with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country.

There is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival, but tourists have to complete an online health declaration form and provide a negative PCR test result taken at least 96 hours prior to their departure.

Visitors with symptoms of the Covid-19 respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or those travelling with someone who has similar symptoms are also tested at their own expense.

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