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Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines or China Southwest Airlines is an airline operating in China. It was established back in 1987, giving it long years of history behind it. Despite this, it has a very low accident record, which makes it one of the reliable airlines in China. After operating independently for several years, it was merged into Air China back in 2002. Prior to this, it was the only Chinese carrier that flew directly to Lhasa.

Although China Southwest Airlines is quite small compared to other airlines in China, it offers a high level of quality and is known for its reliability and good service. The airlines’ Passenger Service Company is highly commendable for its work. In 1993, it even won the Customer Protection Cup from the Customer Protection Association.

Fast Facts

• English name: China Southwest Airlines
• Chinese name: 中国西南航空公司
• Main hubs: Chongqing
• Alliance member
• IATA code: SZ
• ICAO code: CXN
• Headquarters: Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, Sichuan Province
• Frequent flyer program: Phoenix Miles
• Official website: www.cswa.com
• Ticketing hotline: 86-28-86668080
• Ticketing e-mail: cturrsz@mail.sc.cninfo.net
• Complaint e-mail: complain@cswa.com



China Southwest has carried over 50.5 million passengers based on the records in 2000. Its cargo subsidiary has, on the other hand, carried 130 thousand tons of cargo. All in all, starting from its establishment in 1987, the airline has flown 47 million passengers and 900 thousand tons of cargo to all parts of the world.

Branches in China

While its main branch is in Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, it also has branches at the Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport and at the Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport. It also has major representative offices in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Haikou, Xianmen, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Kunming, Yantai, Beihai, Changsha, Lhasa, and Hong Kong.

Offices around the world

China Southwest also maintains offices in various countries, usually in major cities, including:

Japan – Nagoya,South Korea – Seoul,Singapore,Thailand - Bangkok

Main flights

China Southwest flies mainly to domestic destinations from its two hubs, but it has a selection of international flights as well.

Other highlights

China Southwest has a well-trained team of pilots. Up to 300 of their pilots have been awarded special or first class safety medals by the CAAC. For two years, namely in 1996 and 2000, China Southwest was awarded a Golden Roc Cup, the highest safe flying award.

The airline has also established a 36-year safe flying record on its famous Chengdu to Lhasa route, while the Chongqing flight team has a 25-year record of safe flying.


China Southwest Airlines is currently not affiliated with an alliance group.

Fleet and Destination

China Southwest possesses an entire fleet of 40 full-fledged airplanes, most of which are manufactured by Boeing.

China Southwest’s entire fleet consists of the following:


A340-300, 757-200, 737-300, 737-800


737-300, 737-600, 737-800, 757-300

The planes are maintained in two bases, namely the China Southwest Airlines Aircraft Maintenance Plant and the China Southwest Airlines Aircraft Maintenance Company. The former has over 30 years of experience in aircraft maintenance and received an award from Boeing Company for their good record in maintaining and operating the Boeing 757-200 for 314 days with no delay. The latter, on the other hand, is the only company authorized to repair both metric and Russia types of aircraft.

These planes fly to a total of 190 destinations, including domestic, regional, and international. It has regular flights from Chongqing to regional destinations including Hong Kong and Macao. It currently connects more than 60 intercontinental cities as well, including:

• Chengdu – Singapore
• Chengdu – Bangkok
• Lhasa – Kathmandu
• Chongqing – Nagoya
• Chongqing – Seoul
• Chongqing – Bangkok
• Guiyang - Bangkok

China Southwest also has a route going to Bangda, which is the highest civil airport in the world.

Its main international destinations include:

• Bangkok
• Chiangmai
• Kathmandu
• Kuala Lumpur
• Singapore
• Osaka
• Seoul

Luggage Allowance

Carry-on luggage

Passengers on China Southwest flights are allowed to bring hand-carried baggage on the aircraft, but these should be within the weight and size limits set by the airlines.

Checked luggage

Passengers are provided with a free checked baggage allowance on every China Southwest flight. The weight, size, and quantity of the luggage have to meet certain limits. The limits vary depending on each flight and route.

In-Flight Food

China Southwest offers standard meals for its passengers. Passengers with special meal requirements should contact the airline ahead of time to see whether the meal they need will be available on the flight or if additional preparations have to be made.

Special Services

Since China Southwest has been merged into Air China, most of its policies are similar to the latter, including the special services they offer to passengers who need them, including:

Wheelchair service

If you will need a wheelchair for a domestic flight, a reservation has to be made 24 hours prior to the flight. For international flights, application for wheelchair service should be sent in no later than 72 hours before departure. 

Pregnant service

Please refer to the table below for information on pregnant service:

Less than 32 weeks

Regular passenger

32 to 35 weeks

Pregnant women between 32 and 35 weeks should submit a medical certificate issued within 7 days before the departure date

Beyond 35 weeks

As per the ruling, pregnant women past their 35th week of pregnancy will not be allowed on any flight of China Southwest

Frequent Flyer Program

China Southwest is now part of the Phoenix Miles program of Air China. The consolidation occurred after the former was merged into the latter. The more flights a member flies on China Southwest, Air China, and other airlines affiliated with the program, the more miles he or she will earn. Once a certain number of miles is earned, members can be upgraded to silver, gold, or platinum membership. They will then be able to enjoy additional privileges depending on their current status. The table below describes the additional benefits offered to special Phoenix Miles members.

Silver card members

Earn 25% mileage bonus on eligible flights

Gold card members

Earn 25% mileage bonus on eligible flights

Platinum card members

Earn 50% mileage bonus on eligible flights


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