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In early 2017, American Airlines bought a $200 million stake in Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines. On some level this was surprising, given that prior to this the two airlines didn’t cooperate in any way. They had no codeshare agreements, and American doesn’t even fly to to Guangzhou. American said that this investment “creates a strong foundation for a long-term relationship between two of the world’s biggest carriers.”
It didn’t seem to me like they had huge plans overnight, though rather this seemed somewhat reactionary, as Delta bought a stake in China Eastern a few years back, while American doesn’t have a single partner airline based in mainland China.
When this partnership first launched, American and China Southern announced their intentions to begin codesharing, with the ability to earn and redeem miles, through-check bags, and book travel on both carriers on a single ticket, but only on codeshare routes.
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