China Southern is on its way to become the first Chinese carrier to get the Airbus A380 this month, The official event is scheduled for October 14 at Airbus headquarters at Toulouse, France.
The airline plans to operate the aircraft domestically on the Beijing-Guangzhou route from October 18 and then switch it over to Beijing-Shanghai route from October 27 onwards. In this context the carrier becomes the first airline to operate the jumbo on a domestic route.
China Southern will offer 506 seats configuration in a three-class layout with 8 First, 70 Business and 428 Economy class seats which is in line with the configuration that other A380 operating airlines are operating with the exception of Korean Air which is operating the jumbo with a 407 seat config. The airline has 5 firm orders for the A380 till date.
This is also a big step for the Skyteam alliance as China Southern becomes the 3rd carrier in the alliance after Air France and Korean Air to operate the A380. The alliance is already on a strong footing in the booming China market with 3 Chinese airlines as its partners and the addition of the A380 will certainly enhance its image in terms of a quality product offering.