China Southern eyes closer ties with China Eastern

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China Southern Airlines plans to work more closely with Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines in the domestic and international market within the SkyTeam alliance.

China Eastern is expected to formally become a part of SkyTeam in 2012, and Guangzhou-based China Southern's chairman Si Xianmin said that the two airlines have complementary operations that can lead to greater cooperation.

"So far, China Eastern has more international routes while China Southern has a big domestic network. So we think the complementary benefits are clear for both China Southern and China Eastern. Further cooperation in China is beneficial for both airlines," he added on the sidelines of the IATA Annual General Meeting in Singapore.

Si said that SkyTeam will help China Southern to develop fast in the international market, in which it plans to add new services and aircraft in the coming years.

"The reason for SkyTeam is not just for the domestic market. The truth is that the internationalisation of China Southern is growing through the cooperation of the SkyTeam partners. We learn from them, and the cooperation among the members leads to a win-win situation," he added.