China Southern A380, Wiki Commons photo by Sergey Kustov.

According to sources China Southern is pulling its daily A380 off the Sydney-Guangzhou route from late February because of poor loads.

The big Airbus will then be replaced by a more modestly scaled A330. Some negative observations about China Southern’s service standards are sourced to its own management in this article on Australian Business Traveller.

They must therefore be true, but Australian tourism will as an industry have cause to regret the downsizing given the promise of the China market and the support China Southern gave through its expansion of services in recent times to Queensland in particular.

China Southern also turned heads in the travel industry by offering very low outbound fares to Australians on its so-called Canton Route to London via Guangzhou.

The impression given by this development, that China Southern couldn’t ‘give away’ the capacity it put into the Australian market runs counter to the view that there is a tight linkage between a cheap fare and patronage.

Maybe quality does count for something. China Southern clearly thinks so, and it sounds like it will do something about this and come back with more capacity to offer to a price-and-quality sensitive market in the future.

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