China Southern Reaches 700th Aircraft Milestone, Becoming 4th Largest Worldwide

China Southern Airlines has reached a milestone in its fleet expansion efforts, with a group fleet of 700 aircraft. The Guangzhou-based carrier took delivery of its 700th aircraft - an Airbus A321 aircraft (Registration B-8640) at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport at 2:32 p.m. on September 2. The milestone marks China Southern the largest airline in Asia and the fourth largest airline globally in terms of fleet after American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines. The airline said it aims to own a fleet of 1,000 and handle 160 million passengers in 2020. China Southern was established in 1992 and commenced independent operations in 1993 with a fleet of 79 aircraft as well as annual passenger numbers of 9.9 million. The airline's fleet reached 100 with annual passengers reaching 15 million in 1998. Later on, China Southern continued to expand its fleet, achieving its 200th aircraft milestone in 2007, 400th in 2010, 500th in 2013 and 600th in 2014. Also in 2014, the airline became the sixth airline group in the world and the first outside Europe and the U.S. to transport over 100 million passengers a year. China Southern transported 109 million passengers in 2015, ranking the carrier first in Asia and the 3th in the world, topping all Chinese airlines for 37 years. By June 30, 2016, China Southern have kept a safe record of 16.19 million flight hours and carried close to 900 million passengers without incident. The airline's safety commitment is - and continues to be - unwavering both throughout China and globally. At present, China Southern operates more than 958 cargo and passenger routes to 220 destinations. Through the extensive shared network of its SkyTeam member airlines, China Southern's network spans 1,062 destinations to 177 countries and regions. Courtesy: CAN News

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