The world of alliances continues to be an open question, as British Airways signed a joint business agreement with China Southern Airlines.
Tickets under the Joint Business Agreement go on sale today (17th December, for travel from 2 January 2020
According to the airlines, the agreement will benefit customers of both airlines by opening more destinations between the UK and China, with a greater choice of flights and enhanced frequent flyer benefits.
An agreement like this allows airlines to cooperate on scheduling and pricing too.
The joint business will initially see the two airlines code-sharing on all direct flights operated on mainland routes between London and the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Sanya, Wuhan and Zhengzhou. This will then expand to both airlines’ domestic networks. Under the joint business agreement, passengers will initially benefit from 31 direct flights a week between London and the six Chinese locations.
For passengers, its a chance to earn more frequent flyer points, enhanced lounge access and priority products on the ground and in the air.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said:
“We are delighted to announce this joint business which will bring the UK and China closer together by providing British Airways and China Southern Airlines customers with a wide range of benefits. The agreement reinforces our commitment to boost tourism and business travel between the two countries and we look forward to strengthening the relationship further.”
Moving Beyond Alliances
We’ve seen the move from Alliances to Joint Business Agreements for some time – most notably the three main JBA’s across the Atlantic.
China Southern has been in the process of extracting itself from SkyTeam (exiting early this year) – and whilst has been more than friendly to Oneworld Airlines, it is outside an alliance for now.
With partnerships with big oneworld partners such as American Airlines and Qatar Airways – it seems that the airline is happy making the long distance JBA’s for now and waiting its turn to join an alliance of its choosing, when it suits it.
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