British Airways and Guangzhou-based carrier China Southern Airlines have reached a joint business agreement.

The deal will open up additional destinations between the UK and China, as well as provide customers with flight options and introduce improved frequent flyer benefits.

The joint business will initially see the two airlines operate 31 direct flights between London and the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Sanya, Wuhan and Zhengzhou every week.

This will expand both airlines’ extensive domestic networks.

British Airways chairman and CEO Alex Cruz said: “We are delighted to announce this joint business, which will bring the UK and China closer together by providing British Airways and China Southern Airlines customers with a wide range of benefits.

“The agreement reinforces our commitment to boost tourism and business travel between the two countries and we look forward to strengthening the relationship further.”

Customers can benefit from having access to both airlines’ web or app-based platforms to book flights and other Chinese and British products.

In 2017, British Airways and China Southern Airlines entered a codeshare agreement for ten routes.

The company enhance their association in January by signing a memorandum of understanding to expand each other’s networks and implement reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.

Earlier this year, British Airways became the first international airline to operate in the new Beijing Daxing International Airport.