China Southern Airlines announced, this week, that it plans to end it’s current membership in the Skyteam Alliance. It doesn’t appear to be a coincidence that US legacy carrier American Airlines just recently took a 2% stake in the Chinese carrier, at a cost of USD 200 million. Given American Airlines’ membership in the Oneworld Alliance, it seems likely that China Southern will be making it’s way there.
The carrier does insist that it is working closely with Skyteam to ensure that passengers are not inconvenienced by its departure from the alliance, in any way. Their departure, however, serves as a huge blow to those looking for Skyteam award space to destinations throughout Asia…while it will be a potentially tremendous gain for Oneworld loyalists, if and when China Southern is granted membership into the alliance.