China Southern Airlines was formed on 1st July 1988 and is one of China's leading international scheduled airline. The airline’s hub is at the ultra-modern Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport- which has in time become China’s 3rd busiest airport, as well as becoming a major international passenger and cargo hub . China Southern Airlines has 450 aircraft, including 4 Airbus A380-800 aircraft, the largest aircraft in the world. The airline has 4 of the 787 Dreamliner on order, which should commence service in late 2012. The airline has also got another 126 aircraft on order at the time of writing. China Southern is a proud member of SkyTeam and together the 16 member airlines offer its 384 million annual passengers a worldwide system of more than 14,500 daily flights covering 958 destinations in 173 countries. In 2010, China Southern Airlines reported a net profit of CNY5.8 billion ($883 million). In 2011, China Southern Airlines earned four-star status from Skytrax, the world’s most prestigious airline performing evaluation organization.
Route: Guangzhou Baiyun International to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport
Departure date and time of flight: October 2012, 8:00am
Flight Number: CZ3523
Flight duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
Class: Economy Class
Aircraft type: Boeing 777-200LR
Punctuality of the flight:
The flight departed around 30 minutes late because of the morning rush hour at Guangzhou Airport. There were plenty of Boeing 777s lined up for take-off from Guangzhou runway 02R.
Any baggage issues:
No issues. I only had hand luggage to carry.
Comments on the check-in staff and any issues:
No check in issues. Everything went perfectly smoothly at Guangzhou Airport. For domestic flights, China Southern Airlines uses check-in desks in Zone E at Terminal 2. The only major issue was the long queues at customs. There must have been thousands of people lined up and waiting to go through the security checks. Although I was on time for my flight, and had adequate time to go through security (considering the long queues), so the staff politely let me use the special VIP lane. At that point, I had the honour to meet the Captain and crew of Xiamen Airlines. They were flying to Xiamen from Guangzhou. The Captain shook my hand and told me that the queue for customs is busy every morning, and seems to be getting worse by the day.
Comments regarding the pre-meal service:
Drinks including tea and coffee were served.
Comments regarding the first meal:
The breakfast tray contained the following interesting items:
· Shredded chicken with ridiculously oily noodles (one meal was enough!)
· A slice of melon along with a slice of passion fruit
· Strawberry flavoured mousse
· Chilli sauce (Chinese airlines have started to add chilli sauce to all their domestic flights in Economy Class so that passengers can feel a bit special when presented with the basic meals of an edible type food (though it did look like as if someone had stamped their feet onto the chicken noodles)).
Comments regarding the drinks service:
A second round of drinks were offered after the meal. Beer and other alcohol was available- though I could not imagine anyone drinking that at eight in the morning (unless they were jet lagged!). There was plenty of milk, coffee and tea.
Comments of professionalism of the cabin crew:
The cabin crew seemed to be busy as the flight was full, and they were polite too. Just a normal flight, without any incidents.
Improvements that could be made:
I cannot really comment much on the in-flight food or the environment because it was not a long flight. However, it was OK for a short 2-hour flight- all I can say is that I had a good sleep when I went home and I had no stomach problems.
Comments on the interior of the aircraft (including seat comfort):
The 777-200 plane had a seat configuration of 3-4-3 with an all economy seat set up. The plane was clean and the toilets were clean too. It was not full at all. Not bad a flight after all. The crew were friendly too.
Overall rating 1-10 (worst-best): 8 (sorry but the food lets the flight down)
About Airline PR
This is a special section on Airline Branding, and Airline Public Relations written by me on all the flights I have been fortunate enough to have been on. These are not records taken from somewhere else, but are actual flights I have been on. Most of the flight trips are officially sponsored by the airline companies in order to promote their certain routes, and aircraft. Airline promotion and PR related work in the aviation industry is one of my expertise.
Watch exclusive videos below taken in the cockpit of a Boeing 777-300ER in-flight over Chinese Airspace.
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B777-300ER Cockpit Video 1
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