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China Southern plans expansion

CHINA Southern Airlines will launch 40 new routes and increase flight frequency in key markets to expand its network and enhance its presence in two hubs - Guangzhou and Beijing.

The 34 domestic routes and six international routes will open tomorrow, and the carrier will make some adjustment to existing routes to keep pace with demand.

China Southern, the country's largest carrier by fleet, will add 26 new planes to expand its fleet to 311 planes. Most of the new planes will be used on the new routes, the Guangzhou-based carrier said yesterday in a statement.

The six international routes are Guangzhou-Jeju, Guangzhou-Dhaka, Mudanjiang-Seoul, Urumqi-Dubai-Jeddah, Urumqi-Samarkand and Urumqi-Lahore.

The carrier will also add 104 weekly flights from Shanghai, with destinations including Shenzhen, Wuhan, Nanning, Zhuhai, Guiyang, Xi'an, Nanyang and Zhengzhou cities, and add 320 flights from Guangzhou, 166 flights from Beijing and 56 flights from Shenzhen.

Domestic passenger traffic for the carrier grew 9.7 percent in February on a yearly basis and load factor rose 5.1 percent, while international passenger traffic slumped 29.5 percent.

The airline's cargo volume declined 1.1 percent in the period.


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