China Southern Airlines, the mainland’s biggest carrier, has banned shark fin shipments and promised to “actively participate” in animal conservation. The decision is significant as the company is based in Guangzhou, the world’s largest trading hub for the delicacy, and it narrows the options for Chinese importers.
51 per cent of international airlines, based on seat capacity, have now banned the cargo. Flag carrier Air China had already banned shark fin, leaving just China Eastern among the big three state-owned airlines yet to declare a position.
Robust campaigning by wildlife activists over the years has also led the nation’s largest shipper and logistics firm, China COSCO Shipping, to come onside. In a letter to WildAid Hong Kong, seen by the Post and confirmed by the airline, China Southern’s vice-president Han Wensheng said the company “attached great importance to the issue” and had “taken immediate action”.
The nation’s largest airline by revenue and eighth biggest globally said it had banned shark fin on passenger and cargo flights as of March 1, but the letter was its first public announcement of the policy change.