Quick Airline Information:

✈Airline IATA* code: CA
✈Airline ICAO* code: CCA 
✈Founded: 1 July 1988 
✈Website: www.airchina.com.cn
✈Alliance: Star Alliance
Operations and Destinations 🌍
Fleet ✈️
Photo Slide 📷
Safety Video 🎬
Airline reviews 
*IATA: (International Air Transport Association)
*ICAO: (International Civil Aviation Organization)

History Menu:

✈Airline Beginnings

Air China was established and commenced operations on 1 July 1988 as a result of the Chinese government's decision in late 1987 to split the operating divisions of Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC Airlines) into six separate airlines: Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, China Northern, China Southwest, and China Northwest.

It started operations using Hawker Siddeley Trident jets and Xian Y7 which were inherited from the CAAC Airlines since 1974 and 1987 respectively. They were retired as more Boeing 707, 737 arrived in the 1990's. Air China was given chief responsibility for intercontinental flights and took over the long haul aircraft (Boeing 747s, 767s, and 707s) and routes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

The earliest plane in the former Air China livery was the Hawker Siddeley Trident jet from 1974 to 1991. (Photo:Planespotters.net)
In 1988 Air China operated long haul jets as the Boeing 707. (Photo: airliners.net)
The short version of the jumbo, the B747SP was operated from 1988 to 2000. (Photo:airliners.net)
✈Expansion and Development

An early priority for the airline was repairing a reputation damaged by delays, cancellations, or poor in-flight service. In the early 1990s, CAAC launched an incentive program to foster improvements. Air China hired consultants from Singapore Airlines, which was known for its stellar cabin crews. It also hired a few Russian planes and crews to fly certain routes. 

Operating revenues for Air China were $1.05 billion in 1994. This was also, thanks to the integration of more modern aircraft equipment, like the Boeing 767, and 747-400 in 1993 and the Airbus A340-300 in 1997. The fleet had grown to 65 aircraft and the carrier was flying 144 routes overall.In 1997, the airline reported sales of $1.38 billion.

As the fleet grew, it saw more types enter like this Boeing 767-300 in 1993. (Photo:airplane-pictures.net)
In 1997, Air China introduced the first Airbus, the A340-300. (Photo:airteamnews.blogspot.com)
Also the Jumbo 747-400 joined in 2003 for long haul routes. (Photo:airplane-pictures.net)

In 1998, the Boeing 777-200 was introduced. In January 2001, the former CAAC's ten airlines agreed on a merger plan, according to which Air China was to acquire China Southwest Airlines. During the new decade in 2003, it also begun to introduce new aircraft, the Boeing 767-300ER for long haul routes and 737-600 and 757 for short haul routes.  

In 1998, Air China introduced the B777-200 for long haul routes. (Photo:chinadaily.com.cn
The Boeing 737-600 was used for domestic services within China. (Photo:jetphotos.com)

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. 

On 10 December 2006, Air China began serving its first South American destination, São Paulo-Guarulhos (via Madrid-Barajas). This was the airline's longest direct flight. The service was initiated with a Boeing 767-300ER, but due to increased demand, the service has been upgraded to an Airbus A330-200. (later a Boeing 787-9). 

In 2006 Air China, opened up it's longest route, Beijing to Sao Paulo via Madrid Barajas with a Boeing 767-300ER. (Photo:Airplane-Pictures.net)

In July 2009, Air China acquired 80.9% of fellow carrier Air Macau, which itself was struggling at the time. One month later, Air China raised its stake in Cathay Pacific from 17.5% to 30%, expanding its presence in Hong Kong.

In April 2010, Air China completed the increase of shareholdings in Shenzhen Airlines and became the controlling shareholder of Shenzhen Airlines.
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 contributing to the Spanish tourism industry. 

Air China introduced its new Airbus A330-300 to long-haul operations beginning with services to Düsseldorf, Germany in summer 2011. The airline launched a new Beijing-Milan-Malpensa service on 15 June 2011, complementing the airline's existing service to Milan from Shanghai. 

In 2011 Air China received and introduced the Airbus A330 into it's European flights. (Photo:airplane-pictures.net)
✈Recent History and Growth

Deliveries of the carrier's 19 new Boeing 777-300ERs commenced in mid-2011, with the aircraft forming the new "backbone of its future long haul operations". The new Boeing 777-300ERs replaced the Boeing 747–400s on routes to U.S. destinations such as Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Some of the routes were upgraded to the newer Jumbo Boeing 747-8i later in 2012, like the New York service, for increased demand. 

The backbone of Air China is the Boeing 777-300, which arrived from 2011. (Photo:sirsteveincairns.smugmug.com)

In early 2015 it was announced that the airline had selected the Boeing 737 Next Generation and 737 MAX for its fleet renewal programme of 60 aircraft.
In September 2015, Air China introduced 3-times-weekly flights to Montreal, Air China’s second Canadian destination after Vancouver. The Montreal flight was extended to Havana from December 2015. The airline also started direct flights to Johannesburg, South Africa, in October 2015. 

In January 2016, Air China finalized its order for six additional Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft. The airline continues to modernize its long-haul fleet by replacing aging aircraft and plans to expand its growing international network. In May 2016, Air China officially unveiled its first B787-9 Dreamliner of 15 Dreamliners set to join the airline’s fleet. B787 9

In 2016, one of the newest planes arrived, the B787-9. (Photo:Planespotters.net)

In July 2017, it planned nonstop Beijing–Athens service, with an Airbus A330 aircraft. As well in 2017 it took delivery of the first Boeing 737-Max8. 

As from 2018, the airline started receiving as well, new Airbus A320neo family aircraft for its regional and domestic routes and to retire older models of the same family. In August that year, Air China took delivery of the first Airbus A350-900 for long haul routes. 

Air China is the largest operator in China and operates a modern fleet with a good increasing occupancy. It's a respected company and a leader in innovation in it's country. It's on the lookout for continued growth as the Chinese markets grow and leave their home in the search for new countries to prosper. The airline is there to follow and is already expanding in new markets across Europe, Asia and America. 

*History Source: Wikipedia.org 

From August 2018, the newest member of the Air China fleet was the A350-900. (Photo:ch-aviation.com)

Operations and Destinations 🌍:

Air China operates an extensive domestic network covering all of mainland China and is the main operator in it's country. Its main hub is at Beijing Capital International Airport and Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. It also currently reaches a significant number of Asian, Australian and European destinations from Shanghai. Some international routes operate from Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Hangzhou, Kunming and Xiamen. It is one of the few world airlines that fly to all six continents. On 10 December 2006, Air China began serving its first South American destination, São Paulo-Guarulhos (via Madrid-Barajas). This was the airline's longest direct flight. it also operates to south Africa since 2015 giving it a true worldwide reach map. 


The routes and the schedules are changing every season, as Air China looks out for new opportunities to expand and launch new destinations. The following destinations are served by Air China at the time of publishing:  

Region 🗺️ Destinations 🌍🌎🌏
✈China (Mainland Domestic)Aksu, Baotou, Bayannur, Beihai, Beijing, Changchun, Changde, Changsha, Changzhi, Changzhou, Chaoyang, Chengdu, Chifeng, Chongqing, Dalian, Dandong, Daocheng, Daqing, Datong, Dazhou, Dunhuang, Fuyang, Fuyuan, Fuzhou, Ganzhou, Guangyuan, Guangzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Haikou, Hami City,  Hangzhou, Harbin, Hefei, Hefei, Hohhot, Hotan, Huangshan, Huizhou, Hulunbuir, Jiamusi, Ji'an, Jinan, Jingdezhen, Jinghong, Jiuzhaigou, Karamay, Kashgar,  Korla, Kunming, Lanzhou, Lhasa, Lijiang, Liupanshui, Liuzhou, Luzhou, Manzhouli, Mianyang, Mudanjiang, Nanchang, Nanjing, Nanning, Nantong, Ningbo, Nyingchi, Ordos, Panzhihua, Qamdo, Qingdao, Qiqihar, Sanya, Shanghai, Shantou, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Shigatse, Shiquanhe, Shiyan, Taiyuan, Taizhou, Tianjin, Tonghua, Tongliao, Turpan, Ulanhot, Ürümqi, Wanzhou, Weihai, Wenzhou, Wuhai, Wuhan, Wuxi, Xiamen, Xi'an, Xiangyang, Xichang, Xilinhot, Xining,  Xuzhou, Yancheng, Yangzhou, Yanji, Yantai, Yantai, Yibin, Yichang, Yinchuan, Yiwu, Yulin, Yuncheng, Zhangjiajie, Zhanjiang, Zhengzhou, Zhuhai, Zunyi,
✈ China (Regional)Macau, Taichung, Taipei, Hong Kong
✈ AsiaBangkok, Busan, Cambodia, Cambodia, Chiang Mai, Daegu, Delhi, Fukuoka, Hakodate, Hanoi, Hiroshima, Ho Chi Minh City, Islamabad, Jakarta, Jeju, Karachi, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Mumbai, Nagoya, Naha, Nha Trang, Osaka, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Pyongyang, Sapporo, Sendai, Seoul, Shizuoka, Siem Reap, Singapore, Surat Thani, Tokyo (NRT, NGO), Ulaanbaatar, Yangon
 ✈Australia and New Zealand
Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland
✈ The America's Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Newark, San Francisco, Washington, D.C, São Paulo, Vancouver, Montreal, Havana, Panama City.
✈ Europe and RussiaAthens, Barcelona, Budapest, Colombo, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, London, Madrid, Milan, Minsk (Belarus), Munich, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna, Warsaw, Zürich, Astana, Moscow
 ✈Africa and The Middle East Johannesburg, Dubai

*Destination list is for reference only. Please check directly with the airline for updates. 

*Note some destinations are only seasonal.*Correct info as of  May 2019. 

Fleet ✈️:

Air China has one of the biggest fleets of the world, totalling around over 400 aircraft operating out of its hubs to all over the world. It operates a modern and efficient fleet of both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The fleet operates on both domestic and international routes as demand dictates. Some short haul routes can be operated with the biggest planes due to high demand, as well as, holiday seasons which are also often flown using wide-body jets on domestic routes.


Air China has a complex fleet, which is changing and upgrading in recent years with the arrival of new Boeing and Airbus products to remain competitive.
The fleet* consists of the following  aircraft: 

Network 🌐 Aircraft ✈️
  ✈Short Haul (Domestic and Regional)Airbus A319-100, A319neo, A320-200, A320neo, A321-200,A321neo, A330-200.
Boeing 737-700, B737-800, B737 MAX8, Comac C919,
 ✈ Medium HaulA320, A321, Airbus A330,  Boeing 737-800, B737 Max8, B777-300 
✈Long HaulAirbus A330-200/300, A350-900. Boeing  B747-400, Boeing 747-8I, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 787-9
*Correct fleet info as of May 2019.

Air China Photo Slide 📷:​

Air China Safety Video (B747-8)  🎬:​

Reviews ⭐:

Good competitive prices and offers when booked in advance.👎Beijing T3 Terminal is very large; short delays can cause missed connections.
Good connectivity in China and Southeast Asia👎Air China Crew and staff can have difficulty speaking in English and understanding requests or questions. (Domestic/regional flights)
Modern fleet of aircraft with new airliners in operation (B787/A350)👎Hang luggage is restricted to only 5KG for Economy passengers
Good baggage allowance, free seat allocation at time of booking and online check-in.
When buying a ticket direct with Air China and transiting over night in Beijing or Shanghai Airport, Air China will provide Free Hotel Accommodation for all classes of travel. (must be reserved in advance 48 hours before the flight).
Member of the Star Alliance, for points/mileage redemption.