China Southern Airlines
China Southern Airlines is based in Guangzhou in Guangdong Province in southern China. It’s the world's fifth-largest airline measured by passengers carried, and Asia's largest airline in terms of both fleet size and passengers carried. It was established in 1988 after a restructuring of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and has grown since then through acquisitions and mergers to become one of China's "Big Three" airlines alongside Air China and China Eastern Airlines. It is a member of SkyTeam.
China Southern Airlines in Xinjiang begins self-defence classes for flight attendants
Classes started after deadly knife attacks at Kunming railway station last month
An airline is teaching self-defence to its cabin crews based in Xinjiang amid increased security concerns in the restive northwestern region.
China Southern Airlines staff in Urumqi started the classes on Tuesday, said Feng Mingyuan, a publicity official at the company.
Government officials have blamed Muslim separatists from Xinjiang for a mass knife attack at Kunming railway station in Yunnan province last month in which 33 people, including four assailants, were killed.
Mainland cities including Shanghai have increased the number of armed police officers on patrol in the wake of the attacks.
Crew at the airline will be taught by a serving air marshal in the People's Liberation Army.
"Self-defence is very important for flight attendants," the instructor, Guo Haojie, was quoted as saying in a report by the airline's training department.
"In crucial moments, how can you protect the passengers' safety if you can't even protect yourself?" Guo said.
The course includes lessons on the basic skills of self-defence, attacks on key areas of the body and exercises to improve physical condition. Crew have practical lessons and also watch videos on self-defence.
Militants from Xinjiang tried to hijack a Tianjin Airlines flight two years ago shortly after it took off from Hotan to fly to Urumqi, according to Xinhua.
Plain-clothes police, crew and passengers managed to subdue the hijackers.
Other Chinese airlines have introduced self-defence training for cabin crew. Hong Kong Airlines teaches the martial art wing chun to cabin crew so they can control unruly passengers. Cathay Pacific and Dragonair also offer crew self-defence training.
Hong Kong Airlines reported in August 2012 that it handled an average of three incidents of disruptive passengers every week.