VIENTIANE, 20 February 2018: China Southern plans to fly to Vientiane from Chongqing in China during the summer timetable months April to October.
The airline has filed for three weekly flights starting 26 March according to timetable information reported by Airlineroute.
The new service would use an Airbus A320 with 178 seats departing Chongqing at 2210 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
It is possible that China Southern could commission its daughter company, Chongqing Airlines, to operate the service to Vientiane.
As of now the Choingqing Airlines concentrates mainly on domestic passenger services to 30 cities, while serving just two international routes to Hanoi, Vietnam and Phuket, Thailand.
However, the Vientiane service will be pre-booked by tour operators in China who are packaging tours to Laos for the summer months with no local sales in the Lao capital.
Last October, parent airline, China Southern, launched a direct flight to the Lao capital from Guangzhou. At the time the airline said it was part of a scheme to support China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The three weekly service operates using an A320 on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Officials attending the October launch said: “China Southern Airlines business in Laos would grow strongly because this will certainly help connectivity, particularly on the Guangzhou and Vientiane route”.
According to the Department of Civil Aviation in Laos, there are now more direct flights from China to Laos including services from Kunming, Guangzhou, Nanning, Hainan, Changzhou and between Luang Prabang and Chengdu.
China Southern flies out its home base Guangzhou, but has secondary hubs in Chongqing and Shanghai. Established in 1988 it now one of the big three alongside Air China and China Eastern Airlines. It operates more than 2,000 flights to 208 destinations daily and is a member of the SkyTeam alliance.