OREANDA-NEWS. June 7, 2012. China Southern Airlines, a member of SkyTeam and the largest airline in The People's Republic of China is pleased to announce the launch of direct commercial air service from Southern China to Londons Heathrow Airport.

Departing from its worldwide hub at Baiyun International Airport, Guangzhou, the airlines Airbus A330 is expected to arrive today at Heathrow International Airport at 15:25 local time.

This marks the first direct domestic route from Guangzhou to London and the third direct international route for China Southern Airlines from Guangzhou to Europe.

Based in Guangzhou, a city with millennium ancient long history, our exclusive Canton Route will be bridge between Europe and Australia, said Mr. Si Xiamen, General Manager of China Southern Air Holding Company and Chairman of China Southern Airlines Co., Ltd., adding, the successful opening of this Guangzhou - London route is an import part of China Southern Airlines global expansion strategy. It will significantly enhance China Southern Airlines route network and strengthen the importance of Guangzhou aviation hub.

China Southern will be offering this Sino/UK service three-times weekly; every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing Guangzhou at 9:00 a.m., arriving in London at 15:25.

Flights to China will depart Heathrow International Airport at 18:25 every Sunday and will arrive in at Guangzhou at 13:25 the following day. Flights on Wednesday and Friday will depart at 22:30 in London and arrive in Guangzhou at 17:30 the next day. All times local.

This new route is expected to further promote economic and cultural exchanges between UK and China, and provide sports fans with a convenient air bridge to attend the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London this July.

According to Mr. Si, China Southern Airlines plans to open additional international routes and, steadily push forward the process of internationalization in a planned and selective way. We expect by the end of 2015, China Southern Airlines will operate more than 110 flights every week between Australia and China and our Southeast Asian flights will continue to increase in frequency.

He said that, China Southern Airlines is also looking at route expansion into South America, Africa and other emerging markets to expand our hub network. The broader vision of China Southern Airlines Canton Route is to build Guangzhou as a global comprehensive long-haul aviation hub.  China Southern Airlines is the only airline in China to operate the superjumbo Airbus A380 which will provide for extended, long-haul service to/from China.

With opening of this new Guangzhou - London route, China Southern Airlines has increased its Europe navigable points from our two points of Paris and Amsterdam now to three. On June 15, with the increased frequency of our Guangzhou - Amsterdam route, China Southern Airlines will operate 17 weekly flights to/from Europe, said Mr. Si, adding with the dense route network of SkyTeam in Europe, arriving passengers can easily transfer to Milan, Berlin, Frankfurt and other European cities. China Southern Airlines has also established close cooperation with British Airways and other airlines in London. Arriving passengers from Guangzhou can quickly transfer to British Airways flights to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Manchester and other cities within the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom is the largest tourist market from Europe to Australia and New Zealand. More than one million passengers originate from Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Brisbane and Adelaide, transit in Asia and continue onward to London.

According to Mr. Si, From a sheer geography standpoint, Guangzhou is the most logical transit point with the shortest transit distance. When transiting between Australia and New Zealand, Guangzhou is a good transit point by its equal deviation rate as Hong Kong and Singapore. Baiyun International Airport Guangzhou connects 97 cities across China and         24 cities in Asia. China Southern Airlines recently opened or expanded current air routes from China to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Auckland and currently offers 42 weekly flights.

In 2011, China Southern Airlines Canton Route to Australia carried nearly 600,000 passengers, the largest share between China and Australia. Passengers who traveled to Australia and New Zealand via Guangzhou increased from 148,000 in 2010 to 343,000 in 2011, up 132% on the previous year.

With its extensive Chinese domestic route network, Asia routes and new Australia and New Zealand routes, China Southern Airlines can provides visitors from UK or Europe with more convenient travel choices to visit China, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.