Oneworld, the global airline alliance led by American Airlines Group Inc. and British Airways, is in discussions about bringing China Southern Airlines Co. into its ranks, according to people familiar with the matter.
China Southern is the nation’s largest airline with dual hubs in the capital Beijing and the southern city of Guangzhou, where it is headquartered. Bringing it into the oneworld Alliance could provide other member airlines with valuable access to what prior to Covid was one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private.
China Southern has been forging ties with a number of carriers, several of them oneworld members, after it announced its split from rival grouping SkyTeam in 2018. SkyTeam counts Delta Air Lines Inc. as a key member. American Airlines and Qatar Airways both hold stakes of around 5% each in China Southern, which also has an extensive commercial partnership with British Airways and a codeshare agreement with Finnair Oyj.
Representatives for British Airways and American Airlines didn’t respond to requests for comment. China Southern also didn’t respond to requests for comment.
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