China Southern Airlines has launched the nation's first-ever automatic check-in boarding system at the new Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou.

Common throughout North America and Europe, China Southern's new system marks the first time any airline in China is offering self-service passenger check-in for domestic flights.

Currently the service is only available for one domestic route – between Guangzhou and Changsha – but the airline is planning to significantly expand this service and making it available for all flights by the end of 2005.

Four new self-service counters are available at Baiyun International Airport for Internet customers and check-in takes approximately 30 seconds for passengers to select their seat and receive their boarding cards. This new service is especially convenient for customers who don't have any luggage to check-in.

William Ding, founder of Chinese Internet portal (NTES), was the first customer to try out this new service at the unveiling ceremony this week.


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