IAG Partner Plus adds China Southern

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China Southern Airlines inaugural arrival June 2015 at London Stansted Airport

China Southern Airlines is the latest member of IAG Cargo’s Partner Plus Programme.

Partner Plus is an interline agreement where airlines agree to carry each other’s cargo. Membership means that from this month IAG Cargo customers’ freight has access to confirmed space booked on China Southern Airlines aircraft to a range of destinations, including Auckland (New Zealand), Urumqi (China) and the Australian cities of Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

They will also be able to track shipments from origin to destination via track and trace functionality through Partner Plus. IAG customers can also rely on a recovery guarantee ensuring that their freight will be recovered within 48 hours, in the event of an operational offload.

IAG Cargo chief executive officer, Steve Gunning, says: “Our Partner Plus programme has allowed us to grow our network reach in an asset light way. IAG Cargo has its sights firmly set on network expansion and Partner Plus is allowing us to meet this goal much more rapidly than would otherwise be possible.

“Our focus is now shifting away from adding new members and onto deepening our commercial relationships with the existing members of the programme.” China Southern joins existing members Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, the Avianca group, American Airlines, and Finnair.

China Southern’s cargo senior vice president, Zhao Fengsheng, says: “IAG Cargo has a strong global network reach and will prove an important partner in helping us to connect our customers with markets in Europe, the Americas and elsewhere. We look forward to working with them on what we believe will prove a highly effective and beneficial partnership.”

China Southern’s involvement in the programme follows that of Finnair, which signed up to Partner Plus in February. The Finnish carrier has continued to strengthen its links with IAG Cargo, recently announcing a block space agreement for a London-Helsinki route.