Air China

Air China
Air China
Zhōngguó Guójì Hángkōng Gōngsī
Founded 1988
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Phoenix Miles
Airport lounge VIP Lounge
Alliance Star Alliance
Fleet size 268 excl. Air China Cargo
Destinations 185
Parent company China National Aviation Corporation
Headquarters Beijing Tianzhu Airport Industrial Zone
Shunyi District, Beijing, People's Republic of China
Key people Kong Dong, Chairman
Cai Jianjiang, President

Air China (SEHK0753, LSEAIRC, SSE: 601111) (simplified Chinese: 中国国际航空公司; traditional Chinese: 中國國際航空公司; pinyin: Zhōngguó Guójì Hángkōng Gōngsī; literally "China International Airlines Company", abbreviated 国航) is the flag carrier and one of the major airlines of the People's Republic of China. Based in Beijing Capital International Airport, Air China is the world's 10th largest airline by fleet size. The airline ranked behind its main competitors China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines in terms of total passengers carried. However, Air China is the most profitable airline in the world, as well as the world's largest carrier by market value.[1][2]

The enterprise logo of Air China consists of an artistic phoenix pattern, the Chinese name of the airline written in calligraphy by former national leader Deng Xiaoping, and “AIR CHINA” in English. The phoenix logo is also the artistic transfiguration of the word “VIP”. Air China is a member of the Star Alliance.

In 2010, Air China carried 60 million domestic and international passengers with an average load factor of 80%. The airline reported a net profit of 12 billion yuan (USD $1.83 billion) in 2010.[3]


History and development

Air China Boeing 747-400
Air China Boeing 747-400
Air China Airbus A321-200
Air China Airbus A340-300
Air China Boeing 737-800

Air China was established on 1 July 1988 as a result of the Chinese government's late 1987 decision to split the operating divisions of Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) into six separate airlines: Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, China Northern, China Southwest, and China Northwest.[4] Air China was given chief responsibility for intercontinental flights and took over the CAAC's long haul aircraft (Boeing 747s, 767s, and 707s) and routes.

In January 2001, the former CAAC's ten airlines announced they had agreed on a merger plan,[5] according to which Air China was to acquire China Southwest Airlines. Before the acquisition, Air China was the country's fourth largest domestic airline. The merger created a group with assets of 56 billion yuan (USD $8.63 billion), and a fleet of 118 aircraft.[6] In October 2002, Air China consolidated with the China National Aviation Corporation and China Southwest Airlines.[7]

On 15 December 2004, Air China was successfully listed on the Hong Kong and London Stock Exchanges. The airline also listed its shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange on 18 August 2006.

In 2006, Air China signed an agreement to join the Star Alliance. It became a member of the alliance on 12 December 2007 alongside Shanghai Airlines.

In July 2009, Air China acquired $19.3 million of shares from its troubled subsidiary Air Macau, lifting its stake in the carrier from 51% to 80.9%.[8] One month later, Air China spent HK$6.3 billion (USD $813 million) to raise its stake in Cathay Pacific from 17.5 percent to 29.99 percent, expanding its presence in Hong Kong.[9]

In April 2010, Air China completed the increase of shareholdings in Shenzhen Airlines and became the controlling shareholder of Shenzhen Airlines, which allowed Air China to further enhance its position in Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai and to achieve a more balanced domestic network.[10]

On 2 December 2010, Air China received Spain's highest tourism industry award, the "Plaque for Tourist Merit". Air China was the first foreign airline to receive the award, which is given to organisations and individuals for contributing to the Spanish tourism industry.[11]

On 23 December 2010, Air China became the first Chinese airline to offer combined tickets that include domestic flights and shuttle bus services to nearby cities. The first combined flight-shuttle bus ticket connected Tianjin via shuttle bus with domestic flights passing through Beijing.[12]


Air China's route network extends throughout Asia to the Middle East, Western Europe, and North America from its main hub at Beijing Capital International Airport. It also currently reaches a significant number of Asian, Australian and European destinations from Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Some international routes operate from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport, Dubai International Airport, Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, Kunming Wujiaba International Airport, Nanning Wuxu International Airport and Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport.

On 10 December 2006, Air China started serving its first South American destination, São Paulo (via Madrid). This was the airline's longest direct flight. The service began with the Boeing 767-300 aircraft, but because of its popularity, the service has since been upgraded to A330-200.

Air China recently introduced its new A330-300 aircraft for long haul operations beginning with services to Düsseldorf, Germany for the summer 2011 schedule. These aircraft provide the same two-class cabin standard as the A330-200 except that the economy cabin has no seat-back entertainment system installed (with the exception of the first two economy rows which also have increased legroom). Düsseldorf is now the third German destination on the Air China network. The airline will also launch a new Beijing-Milan service starting 15 June 2011. This service will complement the airline's existing Shanghai Pudong-Milan service. Deliveries of the carrier's 19 new Boeing 777-300ERs will commence in mid-2011, and Air China stated that the aircraft will form the "backbone of its future longhaul operations". The new Boeing 777-300ER will ultimately replace Boeing 747–400 on routes to U.S. destinations such as Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, but it is expected to first enter service on flights to Paris from March 2012. The carrier relaunched services from Beijing to Athens with a stopover in Munich using an A330-300 starting 15 May 2011.[13] Air China has announced that it will commence a second daily Beijing-Los Angeles service with a Boeing 747-400M, while the existing daily Los Angeles service is to be upgraded to Boeing 747-400. The Boeing 777-300ER will replace both aircraft once sufficient numbers enter the fleet.[14] Air China also announced that it will expand its operations in India with a Beijing-Mumbai route to plan to begin in September 2011 while the existing Delhi route is upgraded to A330.[15]

Codeshare agreements

Air China officially joined Star Alliance on 12 December 2007, which greatly expanded the alliance's presence in China. With the alliance's "Under One Roof" initiative, all Star Alliance members have moved their operation to the Terminal 3 of the Beijing Capital International Airport, Air China's main international hub. Air China has codeshare agreements with the following airlines.[16]

A Star Alliance member airline B OneWorld member airline C SkyTeam member airline


As of March 2011, the Air China fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 7.4 years:[21][22][23]

Air China Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
F C Y Total
Airbus A319-100 33 0 8 120 128
Airbus A320-200 14 15 8 150 158
Airbus A321-200 28 28 12 173 185
Airbus A330-200 16 10 36 215 251 10 ordered in November 2010
4 12 271 283
Airbus A330-300 5 18 36 275 311 3 leased from AerCap
20 additional firm orders of which first delivered January 2011
Airbus A340-300 6 8 28 219 255 To be phased out
Airbus A350-900 10 TBA 10 ordered in November 2010
Boeing 737-300 27 0 8 120 128
Boeing 737-700 20
Boeing 737-800 77 133 159 167
Boeing 747-400 4 10 42 292 344 To be phased out
Boeing 747-400M 5 24 246 280 To be phased out
Boeing 747-8I 5 TBA Ordered on 7 March 2011[24]
Boeing 757-200 10 0 8 192 200 To be phased out
Boeing 767-300 3 10 26 189 225 To be phased out
Boeing 767-300ER 1 0 30 200 230 To be phased out
Boeing 777-200 10 49 296 345
Boeing 777-300ER 3 16 8 42 263 313 Entry into service: September 2011.
15 ordered in 2007, four more ordered in September 2010[25]
Boeing 787-9 15 TBA Deliveries from late 2015 (order was switched from −8 to −9 August 2010)[26]
COMAC C919 20
Total 265 271


Air China Retired Fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired
Bae 146 6 1987 2004
Boeing 737-200 3 1988 1995
Boeing 737-500 1 2003 2008
Boeing 737-600 6 2003 2009
Boeing 747SP 5 1988 2000
Boeing 767-200 6 1988 2010

Phoenix Miles

Air China lounge (next to the bamboo) at Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport, the airline's main hub

Phoenix Miles (Chinese: 国航知音; pinyin: guó háng zhī yīn, literally "Best friends of Air China"), is the frequent flyer program of Air China. This is the first frequent flyer program launched in China. It was designed to reward frequent flyers traveling internationally and domestically with Air China and its partner airlines.[27]

Members earn mileages for travel on Air China, its affiliated partner airlines and partner airlines. The companion card may be upgraded to VIP status. There are special redemption rates for VIP members – Gold card members and Platinum card Members.

  • Silver card members (Star Alliance Silver): earn 25% mileage bonus on eligible flights.
  • Gold card members (Star Alliance Gold): earn 25% mileage bonus on eligible flights.
  • Platinum card members (Star Alliance Gold): earn 50% mileage bonus on eligible flights.


Incidents and accidents

  • 1 April 1999, Chicago O'Hare International Airport: a near-miss occurred at the intersection on Runways 14 right and 27 left between Korean Air Flight 36 and Air China 9018, both Boeing 747s. The Korean Air 747-400 pilot took evasive action by applying maximum power, rotating earlier than planned, and rolling slightly left once airborne to avoid the Air China Boeing 747 freighter. The aircraft missed each other by an estimated 75 feet (23 m). The actions of the Korean Air flight crew are accredited with saving everyone on board both aircraft.[28]
  • 11 September 2001: An Air China 747 from Beijing to San Francisco, was escorted by two U.S. F-15s onto the north runway at Vancouver International Airport during Operation Yellow Ribbon, apparently due to a communication problem.
  • 15 April 2002: Flight 129, a Boeing 767-200ER from Beijing to Busan, South Korea, crashed into a hill while trying to land at Gimhae International Airport during inclement weather, killing 129 of the 166 people on board.

See also


  1. ^ "Air China: Passenger Throughput Up 16% In 2010[dead link]", China Hospitality News. January 17, 2011, retrieved on January 17, 2011.
  2. ^ Air China most profitable airline in the world
  3. ^ Air China 2010 net profit rises to $1.83 billion | ATWOnline
  4. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International: p. 55. 2007-03-27. 
  5. ^ Ng, Eric, "Air China Set to Announce Lead Bank for Listing," South China Morning Post, Bus. Sec., July 16, 2001, p. 4.
  6. ^ Holland, Tom, "China Break-In," Far Eastern Economic Review, October 25, 2001, p. 41.
  7. ^ "Air China plans to buy 15 new planes". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Associated Press. October 30, 2002. Archived from the original on 6 February 2011. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  8. ^ Air China increases stake in Air Macau to almost 81%, Air Transport Intelligence news, 12.07.2010
  9. ^ Air China to Raise Cathay Pacific Stake to 29.99% (Update2), By Bloomberg News, August 17, 2009
  10. ^ Air China acquires majority stake in Shenzhen Airlines, Air Transport Intelligence news, 22/03/10
  11. ^ Air China Received Top Tourism Award
  12. ^ Antara News :
  13. ^ Air China Launches New Route to Athens, Greece, the City of the Violet Crown - Yahoo! Finance[dead link]
  14. ^ Air China Expands With Second Daily Nonstop Flight From Los Angeles to Beijing
  15. ^ Business Standard (2011-07-01). "Air China expands India operations". Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  16. ^ Partnerships[dead link]. Retrieved on 2010-12-13.
  17. ^ [1][dead link]
  18. ^ "Ethiopian, Air China move forward on codeshare". ATW Online. 2010-12-18. Retrieved 2010-12-18. 
  19. ^ Air China, EVA Airways to join hands on code sharing services, ChinaKnowledge, Oct. 29, 2010
  20. ^ Air China International. Retrieved on 2010-12-13.
  21. ^ Air China fleet list at
  22. ^ Air China International. Retrieved on 2010-12-13.
  23. ^ Air China A330-300. Retrieved on 2010-12-13.
  24. ^ "Boeing, Air China Sign Agreement for 747-8 Intercontinentals". Yahoo! Finance. 7 March 2011. Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  25. ^ "Reuters: Air China orders four more Boeing 777-300ERs". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 10 September 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  26. ^ "Air China switches 15 787-8s order to 787-9s". 1 September 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  27. ^ "Phoenix Miles Main Page (English)" – about us
  28. ^ youtube1

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Air China — 中國國際航空公司 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Air China Cargo — Air China …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Air China International — Air China …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Air China Flight 129 — Infobox Airliner accident|name=Air China Flight 129 Date=April 15 2002 Type=Controlled flight into terrain Site=Busan, Korea Fatalities=128 Injuries=38 Aircraft Type=Boeing 767 200ER Operator=Air China Tail Number=airreg|B|2552|disaster… …   Wikipedia

  • Air China destinations — This is a list of destinations served currently by Air China. For freighter destinations see Air China Cargo. AsiaEast Asia*China, People s Republic of **Anhui ***Anqing (Anqing Airport) ***Bengbu (Bengdu Airport) ***Fuyang (Fuyang Airport)… …   Wikipedia

  • China Southern Airlines — 中国南方航空公司 Zhōngguó Nánfāng Hángkōng Gōngsī IATA CZ ICAO CSN Callsign …   Wikipedia

  • China Eastern Airlines — 中国东方航空公司 Zhōngguó Dōngfāng Hángkōng Gōngsī IATA MU ICAO CES Callsign …   Wikipedia

  • China Cargo Airlines — 中国货运航空 IATA CK ICAO CKK Callsign CARGO KING …   Wikipedia

  • China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition — Host airport: Zhuhai Location: Zhuhai, Guangdong Country …   Wikipedia

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