History: China Southern began operations in 1989, based in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China. Having as main hubs Beijing Capital International Airport and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, it became one of “Big Three” main Chinese carriers, along Air China and China Eastern.
By the end of 1991, China Southern’s fleet consisted of 38 Boeing aircraft.
The 17th of December 1992 marks the date when China Southern began thinking big, and placed an order for six Boeing 777 aircraft, three years later – on the 28th of December 1995 – becoming the first Asian airline to operate this aircraft model.
In 1996, the Guangzhou – Beijing – Amsterdam route became the first long-haul intercontinental route of the airline. One year later, China Southern Airlines introduced its longest flight, connecting Guangzhou and Los Angeles, and being the first airline to fly a Boeing 777 non-stop across the Pacific.
An important merger was announced in July 2000, when the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) decided to gather the ten existing airlines under its management, and form three groups revolving around Air China and China Eastern Airlines, as well as China Southern Airlines. This merger was concluded by the year 2004, after China Southern had integrated Zhongyuan Airlines (August 4, 2000), China Northern Airlines and China Xinjiang Airlines (in 2001). In July 2000, routes to Sydney and Melbourne were added.
In the first month of 2005, five Airbus A380 super-jumbo planes were ordered, in an attempt to extend the fleet. This type of aircraft was operational by the middle of October 2011, and raised the carrier’s prestige, which became acknowledged as the first airline to operate this aircraft model in Mainland China, also ranking it worldwide as the seventh Airbus A380 operator.
Another important purchase aimed at consolidating China Southern’s fleet was made in August 2005, when 10 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners joined the ranks. Six Boeing 777 freighters were ordered and received in 2010, by making this move, China Southern aimed clearly at cargo development.
On the 15th of November 2007, China Southern Airlines joined the SkyTeam Alliance, being the first mainland Chinese airline to enter a global airline alliance. The 27th of January 2011 marks the date when China Southern became the largest four-star airline to receive the Four Star Skytrax award.China Southern Airlines’ first inaugural flight to Canada took place on the 15th of June 2011, the destination being Vancouver.
During 2011, the airline’s presence on the international markets became more visible, as a result of opening or expanding new key navigation points in Amsterdam, Auckland, Istanbul, Perth, Tbilisi and Vancouver. To the existing European (from Guangzhou to Paris and Amsterdam) and Oceania (from Guangzhou to Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney etc.) routes, in June 2012 China Southern added the Guangzhou – London route.
In October 2012, the world’s most luxurious Airbus A380 was selected to serve the Guangzhou – Los Angeles route.
China Southern Airlines Co., Ltd., a proud member of SkyTeam, directly affiliated with China Southern Air Holding Company, continues to grow and go away from the basic services and offer it's passengers an improved product to stand out and continues to innovate and expand in the years to come.