China Southern will send its Boeing 787s to Australia and Europe, an airline executive has confirmed to Australian Business Traveller.
The first of the airline's 10 Dreamliners is due for delivery later this year, with first flights within China for domestic travellers, said China Southern Executive Vice President Mr Chen Gang.
"According to our initial plan, we will be using the 787 Dreamliners on the Canton Routes, for example European routes and also our routes to Australasia."
Chen's use of 'Australasia' rather than just 'Australia' indicates that Auckland may be in line for a Boeing 787, along with its key Australian ports of Sydney and Melbourne (CZ also flies to Brisbane and Perth).
China Southern's current roster of European destinations includes London, Amsterdam and Paris.
Chen admitted that the airline's 787 delivery schedule "has been affected by its technical issues", which saw the beleagued Boeing jet grounded for three months after a series of critical overheating problems with the lithium-ion battery system.
However international regulators have now cleared the Dreamliner for a return to the skies following a series of design changes by Boeing which include containment and venting systems for both the main and auxiliary batteries
China Southern's 787 rollout pattern follows the same as adopted for the Airbus A380, with domestic flights coming ahead of international services.
Chen also confirmed that China Southern will launch its flagship Airbus A380 on Sydney-Guangzhou flights from October 27.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.