China Southern plans to bring both the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner onto its Sydney-London 'Canton Route'.
Speaking at the opening of China Southern's Sydney office this evening -- an event deliberately timed for the auspicious date of 8/8 -- the airline's president and CEO Mr Tan Wangeng, said "We will spare no effort in building the Canton Route into a premium product, using new Airbus A380 superjumbo and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft."
China Southern, which is Asia's largest airline, has three A380s in its fleet and orders for two more, along with 10 Boeing 787s due to begin flying later this year.
Wangeng did not elaborate if this would mean an 'A380 all the way' service through to London, similar to Malaysia Airlines' plans for Sydney and Melbourne, or if the Boeing 787 would run between Sydney and Guangzhou with passengers then transferring to the superjumbo for the Guangzhou-London leg.
Wengeng said the new aircraft -- presumably the Airbus A380 -- would "introduce our luxurious First Class as well as the exclusive in-flight tea house."
"More than 30% of the passengers travelling on this route are from Australia and Europe" Wangeng noted.
China Southern's Guangzhou-London flights, which form the second leg of the Canton Route from Sydney, currently run three times per week but as of late October will tick up to the daily frequency prized by business travellers.
The move will bring further choice for business travellers bound for London, and further competition for Qantas on its crown jewel Kangaroo Route.