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China Southern will maintain codeshare partnerships with SkyTeam members after departure

BEIJING, Dec 24 (Reuters) - China Southern Airlines will maintain the codeshare partnerships with existing SkyTeam members after its official departure from the alliance on Jan. 1 next year, the airline said on Tuesday.

Frequent flyer cooperations will also be continued with SkyTeam partners, China Southern said in a stock filing, adding that the carrier would launch its own priority service brand to substitute “Skypriority” on its flights.

The carrier said last year that it was planning to depart the SkyTeam, one of the three global airline alliances that provide reciprocal benefits for passengers such as lounge usage and frequent flyer points and give airlines transfer passengers from partners in a boost to revenue.

After it announced plans to leave the alliance, China Southern has expanded its code-sharing deal with British Airways and deepened cooperations with American Airlines, both members of the Oneworld group of airlines which China Southern could look to join at a later date. (Reporting by Stella Qiu and Brenda Goh, editing by Louise Heavens and Louise Heavens)