Air China

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Air China Logo

Air China (Chinese: 中国国际航空公司, Zhōnggu Guj Hngkōng Gōngsī, literally "Chinese International Aviation Company", abbreviated 国航) is the People's Republic of China's state owned and largest commercial airline (not to be confused with China Airlines, which is the Republic of China (Taiwan)'s state airline), and the only airline to fly the PRC national flag on its entire fleet. Its logo is a phoenix in the form of the abbreviation VIP.


Code data

  • IATA Code: CA
  • ICAO Code: CCA
  • Callsign: Air China


Air China was setup in 1988 upon the sub-division of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to fly international routes although it also operated a few domestic sectors. Its main hub is Beijing Capital International Airport. Further deregulation of the aviation business took place in 1994, enabling foreign investment in airports and facilitating the import of aircraft built outside mainland China. By 1996 the country had 108 airports with scheduled airline services and around 30 different airlines.

On April 15, 2002, Air China flight 129, a Boeing 767-200ER jet from Beijing to Busan, crashed into a hill while trying to land at Gimhae International Airport during inclement weather, killing 128 of the 166 people on board. To date, this has been Air China's lone blemish in its safety record.

Missing image
Air China's Airbus A340 is taking off in Beijing Capital International Airport(Dec 2004 photo)

During 2004 as part of a consolidation of the Chinese aviation industry Air China absorbed China Southwest Airlines and Zhejiang Airlines. In December the company listed its shares on the Hong Kong and London Stock Exchanges. It also holds majority shares of Shandong Airlines.

Since the reunification of Hong Kong with the mainland, competition from Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair on international routes has been allowed to continue.


Air China's fleet is predominantly sourced from Boeing although some airliners have been acquired from Airbus, including examples of the long range A340. Five of the airline's Boeing 747 fleet are cargo-carrying aircraft. A couple of Lockheed Hercules aircraft superseded Antonov 12s in the freighter role. Four British Aerospace 146 "Whisperjet" passenger aircraft were returned to the United Kingdom during 2003 and are parked at Southend Airport in Essex.

Air China's current fleet (as of April 2005) consists of the following:


See Air China destinations


Currently, Cathay Pacific holds 10% stake of Air China.

In March 2005, An article says Air China was in talks with Swire Group, the largest shareholder of Cathay Pacific, for merger talks that Air China is going to swallow Cathay Pacific, and Cathay Pacific acquiring a majority stake of Dragonair, in return for the Swire Group becoming the largest individual shareholder of Air China's parent company. However, Air China and Cathay Pacific has announced that they won't merge together in the future and Swire is remaining to be the largest shareholder of Cathay Pacific.

Air China will cooperate with Cathay Pacific by codesharing flights in the late 2005. Also, Air China has announced to join Asia Miles in the second-half of 2005.

International Airlines Alliance -- Star Alliance or Oneworld?

Cathay Pacific, a Oneworld member, is one of the shareholders of Air China. This may lead Air China to join Oneworld in the future.

However, Air China cooperates with many Star Alliance members including United Airlines and Lufthansa. Star Alliance might be suitable for Air China too. As of December, 2004 they are said to be in negotiations to join Star Alliance.[1] (

In June 2005, Air China's chairman Lee JiaXiang says Cathay Pacific being one of its share holder does not affect the carrier's alliance strategy. Lee participated the bi-annual Star Alliance meeting in Nagoya, held on June 2, 2005.

External Links

See also: List of Chinese companies

Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

de:Air China fr:Air China ja:中国国際航空 zh:中国国际航空公司


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