China Southern to “conditionally” restore third-party agent ticketing
China Southern Airlines will allow authorized agents to sell the carrier’s packaged offerings with hotel reservation or other travel contents on third-party platforms.
China Southern Airlines confirmed with 21st Century Business Herald that it will permit ticketing agents who have authorized agreements with the carrier to sell airfare packaged contents on approved third-party reservation platforms. The packaged offerings may include flight, accommodation or other travel contents.
Chinese carriers are going to identify a few OTAs where ticketing agents are allowed to sell airfare. This “whitelist policy” limits selling of airfare and packaged products to a few online booking companies which have reached agreements with the carriers on having third-party agents’ listings of such products. China Southern Airlines is the first carrier to allow agents to return to selling on third-party platforms.
Airline companies in China has implemented a new policy since July 1 banning agents’ listings of airfares on third-party platforms. Major OTAs including Ctrip, Qunar, Alitrip and Tongcheng Tourism have since removed third-party agents’ listings but maintain airfare listings of the airline companies’ flagship stores and the platforms’ own offerings.
China Southern dismissed the suggestion of “whitelisting”, and reiterated that it does not allow any ticketing agents to sell or issue its unbundled tickets or standard products with basic package contents (such as those with low-value standardized add-ons like insurance or coupon).
While the other three airline giants – Air China, China Eastern and Hainan Airlines – have earlier resumed their flagship stores on Qunar.com, China Southern has yet to follow suit and is still prohibiting its ticketing agents to sell tickets on Qunar, which means no China Southern tickets are available on any of Qunar’s booking channels. (Translated by Jerry)