China Southern’s first A380 to be used on domestic routes

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Published: September 21, 2011

China Southern Airlines (CZ) announced Tuesday it plans to operate its first Airbus A380 on the Beijing-Shanghai and PEK-Guangzhou routes. The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered Oct. 15 and will be placed in service Oct. 17, according to CZ GM Tan Wangeng.

The carrier is still awaiting CAAC approval to operate the aircraft on international routes, reportedly either PEK-New York or PEK-Paris, Air China’s two most profitable routes. 

Guangzhou-based CZ is the only Chinese carrier to order the A380. It has five of the type on order, with the second delivery expected later this year.

In June, the Chinese government blocked an order from Hainan Airlines’ subsidiary Hong Kong Airlines for 10 A380s to express its disapproval of Chinese carriers’ inclusion in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme starting next year ( ATW Daily News, June 28 ).

CZ’s first A380 has 506 seats, comprising eight luxurious first-class seats, 70 first-class seats and 428 economy seats.

Airbus reported that 18 carriers around the world have ordered 236 A380s; 56 aircraft have been delivered to six carriers. Airbus China President Laurence Barron pointed out that A380 operators report an average load factor increase of 2%-3%. Singapore Airlines has reportedly maintained a load factor of 83% for 16 months while Emirates Airline has maintained a load factor of more than 90% on its PEK-Dubai route since August 2010.

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