I'm booking a trip and my mother encouraged me to use Air New Zealand flights (I live in NZ) because there are fewer stopovers, I can collect airpoints, and it's an airline that has a good reputation.

I noticed that China Southern flights are HALF THE PRICE of Air NZ flights for the trip that I want!

I'm a student, I'm willing to put up with anything to save money - I'd happily spend days on a cramped plane with bad food and long boring stopovers.

The only thing I'm concerned about is safety, and the big price difference makes me suspicious - why is China Southern so cheap? Is it because of stopovers, bad food and low space, because if so, then great I can get cheap flights! If it's because their flights are less safe than Air NZ flights, then I'm not so keen.

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    All major international airlines are essentially as safe as each other. Think about it: how often do you read in the news that a major international airline has had a crash? Oct 20, 2018 at 9:53

2 Answers 2


Yes it is safe. Acccording to AirSafe, the last significant incident involving this airline or its subsidiaries was in 1997.

Heres a review by AdvisoryHQ

Fast Facts About China Southern Airlines

Here are a few facts that we uncovered during our research through China Southern reviews that will give you overall picture of this carrier.

  • China Southern Air is the world’s 6th largest airline measured by passengers carried

  • The China Southern fleet is the largest in China and the 4th largest in the world

  • China Southern Airlines ranked by Skytrax as #23 out of the world’s top 100 airlines

  • China Southern Air operates 700 passenger and cargo planes, flying more than 2000 daily flights

  • A China Southern Airlines booking can made to 208 different destinations in 40 countries and regions

This review by TripSavvy directly addresses your concern

Safety Record

Many people unfamiliar with Chinese airlines are nervous about traveling with China Southern Airlines. While China has had some issues with airline safety in the past, standards have been raised substantially and safety meets international standards.

China Southern Airlines has been involved in a handful of accidents, the last major incident being a crash in 1997, but its safety record is comparable with other international airlines. There have been complaints about the training and English language ability of pilots, including misunderstanding instructions from air traffic control and ground crew. China Southern Airlines has partnered with US partners to raise the quality of staff training and aircraft maintenance.

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    They're safe, it's just that the service wasn't great (in my experience). If you don't mind that then you're good to go. Oct 19, 2018 at 15:23
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    @lafemme so it's just like American carriers. Oct 19, 2018 at 16:11
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    @RobertColumbia actually from own experiance it is much much better ... Oct 19, 2018 at 22:15

About safety there is not much to say - China southern is as safe as any other big international carrier - and safety in general does not have any direct relation to price.

In fact , skytrax has a rating of 4 stars for that carrier ( including safety ), and it's quite a good one.

There are different safety reports and rankings from different organizations that I can quote here - and you can easily look them up on the net - though some argue you shouldn't.

As a personal experience - After using CZ for more than 50 different flights I can testify that it does not have "cramped planes" any more than any other airline and in fact they have a relatively new fleet at least on International and premium national destinations ( Between major airports ) - but then again, every airline has better and worse equipment and your specific one flight will not determine the quality of the fleet.

..and Food is a matter of taste ( I am personally not a fan ) but also that changes by destination, origin , season and time of flight .

Regarding the price - there could be multiple reasons like special regional promotions for your country, government regulations in the case of china, seasonal promotions or just date availability .. none has to do with safety.

P.S> Small Remark as a rule of thumb : if an airline is a member of a major alliance ( for example Skyteam which is the case for CZ or Star alliance ) you can assume they are "better" then those who are not - and that is simply because they are required to comply with that alliance standards on top of all "regular" standards. That includes safety, service, amenities etc..

of course this rule of thumb also has exceptions - I had great flights with non-alliance carriers and bad ones with major alliance members - but as a general rule it works ..

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