Quick Airline Information:

✈Airline IATA* code: MU
✈Airline ICAO* code: CES 
✈Founded: 25 June 1988 
✈Website: www.ceair.com
✈Alliance: Sky Team
Operations and Destinations 🌍
Fleet ✈️
Photo Slide 📷
Safety Video 🎬
Airline reviews 
*IATA: (International Air Transport Association)
*ICAO: (International Civil Aviation Organization)

History Menu:

✈Airline Beginnings

Like many of the major Chinese airlines, China Eastern can trace it's origins when the China Civil Aviation Administration (CCAC) was formed on November 2, 1949, about a month after the creation of the People's Republic of China. CCAC was started with the scattered administration, personnel and aircraft left behind as airlines sponsored by anti-communist Chinese and American interests fled to Taiwan to escape the Communists. At first, the CAAC was dependent on Soviet support. It operated, for the most part, Soviet-designed aircraft during the Cold War, except for a few leftover American designs and a few modern turboprops and jets bought from Great Britain in 1961. It bought more Western aircraft in the 1970s, including some British Trident jets in 1971 and ten Boeing 707s in 1972.

CAAC Airlines was the predecessor of all Chinese airlines, including China Eastern, operating with Boeing 707 aircraft in 1972. (Photo:c1.staticflickr.com)

By the time it was disassembled in 1984, the CAAC, did it’s best in providing western levels of service, that is, concerning the types of aircraft used on international routes. The carrier even had bought a few Boeing 747 wide body jets, which were placed in service to Paris, San Francisco, and New York. After 25 years without a reported accident, a string of fatal crashes in the late 1970s gave impetus to modernizing the airline's operations. In late 1984, CAAC was divided into one international carrier (Air China) and four regional airlines-- Southern, Southwestern, Northwestern, and Eastern, based in Shanghai. Two of the regionals, China Southern and China Eastern, were allowed to fly abroad because of the commercial importance of their home bases, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Both soon developed into major airlines in their own right. 

After a few years of consolidation, China Eastern Airlines was established on 25 June 1988 under the Civil Aviation Administration of China. CAAC Airlines was divided up into a number of individual air carriers, each named after the region of China where it had its hub. Since then, CAAC acts solely as a government agency and no longer provides commercial flight service. It's first aircraft to be operated under the new name of China Eastern were Airbus A310-300, British Aerospace BAe-146-100 and McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft. 

In 1988 China Eastern Airlines begun operating with Airbus A310 as some of it's first aircraft. (Photo:airlinersgallery.smugmug.com)
Short haul routes were operated with MD-82 aircraft at the beginning in 1988. (Photo:Planespotters.net)
✈Expansion and Development

In 1991, China Eastern carried up to 8,000 passengers a day on a total of 70 routes, including flights to several Japanese destinations and Seattle and Los Angeles in the United States. In 1992 it ordered five Airbus A340s and received Fokker 100. In June, the airline launched its first European route with service from Brussels, originating in Shanghai with stops in Beijing and Bahrain. A route to Madrid followed the next spring, in 1993. It also received in 1993 Airbus A300 aircraft for high demand domestic routes. 

In 1994 it began flying to Seoul, in the Republic of Korea. It operated 41 aircraft at the time. The Airbus A340-300 arrived in 1996 and helped to replace older types and increase capacity on routes to Madrid for example. 

In 1996 the airline received it's A340-300 for long haul international flights. (Photo:flickr.com)

In 1997, China Eastern took over the unprofitable China General Aviation and also became the country's first airline to offer shares on the international market. This year it also received the MD-90.  In 1998 it founded China Cargo Airlines in a joint venture with COSCO. It also received Boeing 737-300 in the year 1998. In March 2001, it completed the takeover of Great Wall Airlines. China Yunnan Airlines and China Northwest Airlines merged into China Eastern Airlines in 2003.

During 2003 it upgraded its Airbus fleet with the introduction of the bigger Airbus A340-600, at the same time, it purchased Boeing 767-300ER and for domestic routes incorporated the British Aerospace BAe-146-300. 

China Eastern introduced the B767-300ER in 2003. (Photo:airliners.net)
The thinner domestic routes were operated with British Aerospace BAe-146-300 jets from 2003. (Photo:jetphotos.com)

During 2004, the airline acquired the Bombardier CRJ-200ER and Embraer ERJ-145 for regional routes.In 2005, China Eastern Airlines initially placed an order for 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners but with continuous delays, it cancelled and instead it ordered Boeing 737 Next Generation and acquired Airbus A330 for it's long haul operation, which joined in 2007. 

At the time, the Chinese government had a majority ownership stake in China Eastern Airlines (61.64%). On 20 April 2006 the media broke the news of a possible sale of up to 20% of its stake to foreign investors, including Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Japan Airlines, with Singapore Airlines confirming that negotiations were underway. After receiving approval from the State Council of China, it was announced that on 2 September 2007 Singapore Airlines would jointly acquire shares of China Eastern Airlines. However, Singapore Airlines' pending entry into the Chinese market prompted the Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific to attempt to block the deal by buying a significant stake in China Eastern and voting down the deal together with Air China. Then Air China's parent company, announced in January 2008 that it would offer 32% more than Singapore Airlines for the 24% stake in China Eastern. This made Singapore Airlines back away from the initial deal. 

On 11 June 2009, it was announced that China Eastern Airlines would merge with Shanghai Airlines. In February 2010 the merger was completed. Shanghai Airlines became a wholly owned subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines. However, Shanghai Airlines retained its brand and livery. The new combined airline was expected to have over half of the market share in Shanghai, the financial hub of China. 

In 2004 China Eastern operated the CRJ-200 for thin domestic routes in China. (Photo:Planespotters.net)
✈Recent History and Growth

China Eastern and its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines became the 14th member of SkyTeam on 21 June 2011, and one year later it was awarded the “Golden Ting Award” at the China Capital Market Annual Conference 2012. On 18 October 2011, China Eastern Airlines placed an order for 15 Airbus A330s. 

In April 2013, China Eastern got a temporary permit to operate in the Philippines. On September 9, 2014, China Eastern introduced a new logo and new livery. Later, in September 2014, the airline received it’s first of 20 Boeing 777-300ERs, which it placed back in 2012. 

Operating the Airbus A330 since 2007, its the backbone of the long haul fleet of China Eastern. (Photo:wikimedia.org)
Since 2014, the Boeing 777-300ER has provided the long haul links for the airline to main worldwide cities. (Photo:airliners.net)

In 2015, the airline entered a partnership with Delta Air Lines in which Delta will buy a 3.55% share in China Eastern. Also in 2015 the airline announced plans to acquire a further 15 Airbus A330. In 2016, China Eastern Airlines announced its plans to introduce new cabin products for its Airbus A330-300 aircraft, the Vantage XL model from Thompson Aero lie-flat Business Class seat and new Economy Class seats with extra legroom. 

Also, China Eastern Airlines ordered new long-haul aircraft, 20 Airbus A350-900XWB and 15 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which are scheduled for delivery from 2018 and will offer a four-class configuration, including a new Premium Economy Class. In May 2017, China Eastern Airlines received its first of the 15 Airbus A330 aircraft ordered in 2015. With a strong presence on routes in Asia, North America and Australia, the airline expected to add more international routes for its growing network. November 2018, China received it's first Boeing Dreamliner 787-9, it deployed the aircraft on its routes to North America. The same month the airline took delivery of its first Airbus A350-900. 

History source: Wikipedia.org / ceair.com

The newest aircraft type for China Eastern joined in 2018, the Boeing 787-9 for trans-oceanic flights. (Photo:jetphotos.com)
In November 2018 China Eastern also took delivery of the first A350-900. (Photo:jetphotos.com)

Operations and Destinations 🌍:

China Eastern Airlines flies to 257 cities in 35 countries across the world, of those cities, 160 alone are in China. The airline has a strong domestic market potential as it boosts flight frequencies from Shanghai, its main hub, to other Chinese cities. It has also a strong presence on routes to Asia, North America and Australia. The airline is also accelerating the pace of international expansion by increasing flight frequencies to international destinations as more aircraft arrive. 


China Eastern Airlines flies to the following destinations*: 

Region 🗺️ Destinations 🌍🌎🌏
✈China (domestic)Altay, Anqing, Baise, Baishan, Baoshan, Baotou, Beihai, Beijing, Cangyuan, Changchun, Changde, Changsha, Changzhou, Chengdu, Chifeng, Chongqing, Dali, Dalian, Dandong, Daqing, Datong, Dazhou, Delingha, Dongying, Dunhuang, Enshi, Fuzhou, Ganzhou, Golmud, Golog, Guangyuan, Guangzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Haikou, Hami City, Handan, Hangzhou, Hanzhong, Harbin, Hefei, Heihe, Hengyang, Hohhot, Huai'an, Huangshan, Huizhou, Hulunbuir, Jiagedaqi, Jiamusi, Ji'an, Jiayuguan, Jinan, Jinchang, Jinghong, Jining, Jinzhou, Jiuzhaigou, Jixi, Karamay, Kashgar, Korla, Kunming, Lancang, Lanzhou, Lhasa, Lianyungang, Lijiang, Lincang, Linfen, Linyi, Liping, Liupanshui, Liuzhou, Lüliang, Luoyang, Luzhou, Mangnai, Mangshi, Mianyang, Mudanjiang, Nanchang, Nanchong, Nanjing, Nanning, Ngari, Ningbo, Ninglang, Ordos, Pu'er, Qianjiang, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Qiqihar, Quanzhou, Rizhao, Sanya, Shanghai(PVG,SHA), Shangrao, Shantou, Shaoyang, Shennongjia, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Shigatse, Shijiazhuang, Shiyan, Taiyuan, Taizhou, Tangshan, Tengchong, Tianjin, Tonghua, Tongliao, Tongren, Turpan, Ulanhot, Urumqi, Weihai, Wenshan, Wenzhou, Wuhai, Wuhan, Wuxi, Wuyishan, Xiamen, Xi'an, Xiangyang, Xichang, Xilinhot, Xingyi, Xining, Xinyang, Xuzhou, Yan'an, Yancheng, Yanji, Yantai, Yibin, Yichang, Yichun, Yinchuan, Yingkou, Yining, Yiwu, Yongzhou, Yulin, Yuncheng, Yushu, Zhangjiajie, Zhangjiakou, Zhangye, Zhanjiang, Zhaotong, Zhengzhou, Zhongdian, Zhongwei, Zhoushan, Zhuhai, Zunyi
✈AsiaAsahikawa, Bangkok, Busan, Cebu, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Clark, Colombo, Da Nang, Daegu, Delhi, Denpasar, Dhaka, Fukuoka, Hakodate, Hanoi, Hiroshima, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Jeju, Kagoshima, Kaohsiung, Kathmandu, Kolkata, Komatsu, Kuala Lumpur, Laoag, Luang Prabang, Macau, Malé, Mandalay, Manila, Matsuyama, Muan, Nagasaki, Nagoya, Naypyidaw, Nha Trang, Niigata, Okayama, Okinawa, Osaka, Phnom Penh, Phu Quoc, Phuket, Sapporo, Seoul, Seoul, Shizuoka, Siem Reap, Singapore, Stockholm, Surat Thani, Taichung, Taipei, Taipei, Tokyo, Tokyo, Vientiane, Yangon
✈North AmericaChicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver 
 ✈Europe and Russia
Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Irkutsk, London (LHR, LGW), Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Prague, Rome, Saint Petersburg
✈The PacificAuckland, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth, Saipan, Sydney
 ✈The Middle East

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

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

Fleet ✈️:

China Eastern Airlines has an impressive fleet of more than 500 aircraft, from regional to long haul aircraft. It is the launch customer for the new regional airplane Comac C919. Additionally, it has many new aircraft on order from both Airbus and Boeing, which are being delivered from 2017 to 2022.


The China Eastern fleet* consists of the following aircraft: 

Network 🌐 Aircraft ✈️
✈Short haul and RegionalAirbus A319, A320, A321. (new Airbus A320neo from 2018).
Boeing 737-700/800, 737-Max8 (from 2018). 
Comac C919 (delivery to be announced)
✈Medium haul
Airbus  A321, A330-200/300. Boeing  737-Max8
✈Long haul Airbus A330-200/300, A350-900. Boeing 777-300ER, 787-9 
*Correct fleet info as of January 2019.

China Eastern Photo Slide 📷:​

China Eastern Safety Video (B777-300ER)  🎬:​

Reviews ⭐:

Best Airline to fly to Shanghai with multiple connections to Asia and Oceania. 👎Cabin baggage restricted to only 5KG
Competitive fares and prices (long haul)👎English level knowledge for the airport staff can be limited
 Online check-in available free of charge and seat selection.
Complimentary meals and drinks on board. With a very effective and quick service.
 Good flight times and central airports served.
Member of Sky Team Alliance, for mileage redemption.
New Aircraft deployed on key international routes (A330, A350, B787-9)