China Southern's new Airbus A380 service between Sydney and Guangzhou is now open for bookings, with the airline offering special promotional prices across all three travel classes for flights from the October 28 inaugural date.
Return business class fares start at $2,380, with first class from $3,800 and economy from $720, all including taxes.
Best of all, those fares apply for all of China Southern's Australian services to its Guangzhou hub: so travellers in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth are up for the same super-competitive deals, with extensions through to Beijing and Shanghai.
Business class and first class fares are on sale now until June 12, 2013, and are valid for travel from October 28, 2013 to January 31, 2014; economy fares are on sale through to June 4, 2013, covering travel from October 28 to December 7, 2013.
"These A380 welcome fares are the best we have ever offered to China because we want to celebrate the introduction of the superjumbo when it starts into Sydney" said China Southern Regional General Manager Australia/New Zealand Henry He.
Mr He notes that when the A380 service starts on October 28, all of China Southern’s Australian ports will be serviced by the airline's latest Airbus aircraft – the A380 Superjumbo in Sydney and brand new A330-200/300 airliners to other ports, "all offering fully flat seats in Business and personal televisions throughout."
“Our fleet is ultra-modern and our fares are ultra-competitive, and I invite all Australians to check out our Canton Route fares to the rest of the world as well as to China.”
For more information contact your travel agent, call 1300 889 628 during business hours or visit facebook.com/ChinaSouthernAU.
Guangzhou to London
China Southern's superjumbo will slot into the daily CZ325/326 service, which departs Sydney at 9.50am to reach Guangzhou at 5.30pm.
Travellers continuing to London on China Southern's 'Canton Route' will have the option of breaking their journey at Guangzhou for up to 72 hours without a visa, under new transit permit rules to be introduced later this year.
However, China Southern doesn't offer an A380 service between Guangzhou and London due to the airline having only five A380s in its fleet.
China Southern currently runs only one international A380 service, that being between Guangzhou and Los Angeles.
The airline's other A380 routes are all within China, including the world's shortest A380 trip of just over two hours between Guangzhou and Shanghai.
Inside China Southern's Airbus A380
CZ's A380 represents a substantial upgrade from the Airbus A330s currently used between Sydney and Guangzhou with improvements from tip to tail.
At the front of the main deck you'll find the first class Platinum Private Suites. These SQ-style suites are ensconced by shoulder-height walls and refreshingly bling-free, outfitted in a calm and elegant royal purple.
The eight suites on board are laid out across two rows, in a 1-2-1 configuration, with the slide-down divider between the middle pairs allowing for a chat with your travelling companion or colleague en route.
The seat controls and extra-large table are found in the handy armrest, which is itself a pleasing size for marshalling all your first class gear.
Most of the upper deck is given over to the airline's confusingly-named business class offering, which China Southern dubs as 'First Class' – good luck trying to swing that one past your company's travel manager when it comes to booking a business trip!
Frequent flyers may be familiar with these types of seats – they're made by EADS Sogerma and adopt a staggered layout with direct aisle access for every passenger.
Simple and clean lines are the order of the day once more for China Southern, with a calm and rather corporate light blue seat and off-white plastic surrounding shell.
The centre pairs (E and F seats on China Southern) are the seats to pick if you're travelling with your other half, and the seats to skip if you're not.
We'd also suggest avoiding the aisle seats on the side and in the middle (C and H on the CZ seatmap) skip since your elbows will be right out in the aisles, ready to be banged by the first trolley or passenger that goes past.
That all makes the A and K window seats, which have a large armrest/cocktail table between you and the rest of the plane, plus a few inches extra bed length, the ones to snag.
And, of course, you get the elbow room on the other side from the window storage bins – all up, the extra surface area makes for a very practical 'office in the sky'.
Looking more closely at the seat, you'll find the controls sensibly up where the contents of your pockets won't brush up against them.
A water bottle holder sits in the corner, with a full universal power point at a handy spot right next to your arm.
We like the clever recessed cupholder/plateholder too: no glasses sliding around here.
Economy class (refreshingly named 'Economy Class') is towards the back of the main cabin in the usual 3-4-3 seat layout.
If you're flying to China in the cheap sets we suggest booking into in the smaller upstairs economy cabin: this sports a roomier 2-4-2 layout with extra elbow and surface space plus more personal storage area for passengers in window seats.
(The seats you want are rows 70 through 78 - avoid row 79, which is a middle block of four seats flanked by the toilets, galley and crew area.)
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