Emirates Airline and China Southern Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding to begin codesharing on 18 routes in China, the Middle East and Africa.

In the initial stages of the agreement, Emirates will place its code on China Southern services to Fuzhou, Chongqing, Kunming, Qingdao, Xiamen, Chengdu, Nanjing and Xian, subject to government approval. No start date for the arrangement has been disclosed.

China Southern will also add its code on Emriates' services from Dubai to destinations including Riyadh, Lagos, Dammam and Cairo.

FlightGlobal schedules data shows that Emirates flies from Dubai to Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai, while China Southern flies from Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, and Urumqi to Dubai.

"Emirates is our first bi-directional partner in the Middle East, and we are very pleased to enter into a codeshare partnership with Emirates. It signifies a key step for China Southern in the process of building new international partnerships," says Han Wensheng, the chief operating officer of the China Southern's parent company China Southern Air Holding Company.

"While codesharing is only the start of our cooperation, cooperative opportunities in a wider range of fields such as freight, frequent flyer benefits, lounge access, and airport collaboration will be explored in the future."

Source: Cirium Dashboard