I’ve had great luck this year with DL partner awards…which of course are all booked into low level award bucket. From Virgin Australia, to China Southern, new partner Virgin Atlantic, Vietnam Airlines, and Czech (report coming soon). Of course, there was the “hidden” award inventory problems with Air France and KLM most of the year and the notoriously horrible availability on Delta’s own flights (though I did really well with European summer flights this year), but with a little flexibility there is certainly value to be had from SkyMiles. Well, in what could be another positive, Reuters is reporting that Chinese carrier and SkyTeam partner, Xiamen Airlines, has finalized a deal for six Boeing 787 aircraft to be used on long-haul services to the United States and Europe in 2014.

The airline’s parent, China Southern Airlines Co Ltd , said in May 2011 that it had signed a letter of agreement for the six aircraft, but the deal was held up pending approval from the Chinese government. That came this week, according to sources familiar with the deal.”We’ve confirmed the order. The first jet will be delivered on July 25 next year,” said Xiamen Airlines spokeswoman Shen Zikun. Boeing Co declined to comment.

Of course, very little is know at this time in terms of proposed routes, levels of service, and what award availability will look like. However, the positive news is that Xiamen is owned by China Southern who has had awesome business class availability on their A380 flights from LAX and onwards (though the last few weeks Delta has had a tough time seeing this inventory as well).

We’ll see what happens…

Interested in using your miles for a flight but can’t find availability? Consider using Juicy Miles for award booking assistance!

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