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The alliance Skyteam will lose China Southern, its largest Chinese airline

The biggest Chinese airline company in terms of passengers is leaving Skyteam, the alliance that includes Air France and Delta Air Lines

Ten years after becoming a member, the company China Southern declared it "would not renew its membership" to the global commercial alliance on January 1, 2019.

Skyteam, one of the three 3 global airline alliances along with Oneworld and StarAlliance, will thus lose its largest Chinese airline in terms of number of passengers.

Two factors could explain this choice:

  • In 2011, the competing company China Eastern Airlines also joined the alliance Skyteam, which is an unusual situation inhabituelle because they both operate on the same market 

Airline: Delta Air Lines and China Eastern become shareholders in Air France

  • American Airlines (member of Oneworld) in March 2017 acquired shares in China Southern, 270 million shares for an amount valued at 200 million dollars. New synergies could also be created between the two companies if they join the same alliance.

Skyteam a plans to continue to work with China Southern throughout 2019 to guarantee "a simple transition for clients and partners".

Kristin Colvile, CEO Skyteam incates: "The network was the foundation for Skyteam. Our valuable proposition consists in an important integrated network along with our focus on improving travel experiences through. China Southern was an important member for Skyteam. We respect its decision and wish it the best."


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