Today’s Air China can trace its origins to 1988 when Air China International Corporation was established. In October 2002, based on an industry reform plan formulated by the central government, Air China International Corporation, China Aviation Corporation and China Southwest Airlines merged, and the surviving company was still called Air China International Corporation. In September 30, 2004, Air China International Corporation was rebranded as Air China Limited. In December 2004 Air China Limited became a publicly traded company on Hong Kong Stock Exchange (SEHK: 0753) and London Stock Exchange (LSE: AIRC).
The corporate logo of Air China depicts phoenix, a legendary bird worshiped by the nation since ancient times as a symbol of luck and happiness. Chinese ancient literature contains constant references to the bird which “flies from the eastern Happy Land over mountains and seas and bestows luck and happiness upon all parts of the world.” With imagination stretched a bit, the way the logo is laid out recalls the English word “VIP”. The deep red color is used since it’s associated with anything happy and lucky in Chinese culture. The message conveyed by the whole design is that Air China commits itself to promoting the development of the country’s airline industry and offering pleasant travel experiences to passengers. For us, phoenix symbolizes a spirit. At the core of the “Phoenix Spirit” is the will to “serve the world, to lead and move forward to higher goals.” Our vision is to become “A leading carrier in the world”. Our mission stresses “operational safety, customer orientation, steady growth, people development and fulfillment of responsibilities”. These values remind us that we should “use a people-oriented approach to our business, take on social responsibilities, have the will to succeed and enjoy flying”. Our brand positioning is to be “a professional, trusted, internationally respected Chinese brand closely associated with China”. The design also features the calligraphic version of Air China’s Chinese name, a reproduction of the handwriting by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China’s drastic social and economic transformation who laid the foundation for the country’s economic power.
Air China is the only flag-carrier aviation company in China, and a member of the world’s largest airline alliance Star Alliance, the official aviation transportation partner of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Air China takes the lead among domestic airlines in passenger transportation and other related services. In 2022, according to the assessment of the World Brand Lab, Air China boasted a brand value of RMB 213.659 billion, the highest among Chinese civil aviation companies.
Air China is responsible for the task of providing special flight services for China’s leaders when they go on foreign trips. It is also responsible for chartering special flights within China for many foreign heads of state and government leaders, thereby demonstrating Air China’s exclusive status as the national flag carrier. Headquartered in Beijing, Air China has several branch offices in areas such as Southwest China, Zhejiang, Chongqing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hubei, Xingjiang, Guangdong, Guizhou, Tibet, and Wenzhou. Air China’s main subsidiaries include Shenzhen Airlines Co., Ltd.（As well as Kunming Airlines Co., Ltd.）, Shandong Airlines Group Co., Ltd., Air Macau Co., Ltd., Beijing Airlines Co., Ltd., Dalian Airlines Co., Ltd., Air China Inner Mongolia Co., Ltd., Ameco Beijing, Air China Import and Export Co., Ltd., Chengdu Falcon Aircraft Engineering Service Co., Ltd., and Air China Shantou Industrial Development Company. Its joint ventures include GA Innovation China Co., Ltd. and Sichuan Services Aero-Engine Maintenance Co., Ltd. Air China also holds shares in Cathay Pacific Airways Limitedand Tibet Airlines Co., Ltd.. Beijing Air Catering Co., Ltd. was formerly controlled by Air China, Ltd. It now belongs to the China National Aviation Holding Company (CNAH).. The company was established on May 1, 1980 in Beijing as the first joint venture launched after the enactment of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Chinese-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures.
As of March 31, 2023, Air China (including its subsidiaries) had a total of 898 aircrafts of all types, mainly Boeing and Airbus, with an average age of 8.90 years, operating 672 passenger routes to 151 cities in 25 countries and regions. Our service was further extended to 1,300 destinations in 195 countries (regions) through cooperation with airlines such as Star Alliance Members.
Air China is committed to providing passengers with "Four Cs" service: Credibility, Convenience, Comfort, and Choice. Its "PhoenixMiles" frequent flyer program has the longest history of any frequent flyer program in China. The program integrates frequent flyer members from several of the brands which Air China controls or holds shares in. Thanks to our customer-oriented approach, Air China has continuously improved the quality of services in order to meet the diverse and individual needs of our passengers.Air China has a strong domestic and international route network and sales network, and an extensive high quality customer base. It has become the preferred airline for many Chinese government agencies and corporate business customers.
Air China has a team of pilots and flight attendants with excellent business skills, precise work methods and good service delivery. Its award-winning flight team has received many honors, including the “ICAO Medal of Honor,” “National Safe Production Advanced Unit,” and “Safe Flight Model Organization.” The team has set world-class flight safety records: completing a successful polar flight, Air China has an impeccable 58-year safety record (since 1965) on the notoriously challenging route between Chengdu and Lhasa, once considered off limits by the international civil aviation community. Our flight crew are well trained and have good professional ethics, and are committed to providing passengers with a unique and comfortable in-flight experience. In addition to Chinese flight attendants, we also employ an international team of Japanese, Korean, German, Russian, Thai, and Italian flight attendants. The "Golden Phoenix Crew" represents the highest level of service among Air China cabin crews, and has been awarded an honorary title by the Chinese government.
Air China aircraft are maintained by a high-calibre team of engineers in accordance with strict industry standards. In June 2015, the former Air China Technics and the former Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Co., Ltd. were merged to become a new company known as New Ameco. It is headquartered in Beijing and has seven business units–the North China Route Center, the Chengdu Branch, the Southwest Route Center, the Aircraft Overhaul Business Unit, the Parts/Undercarriage Overhaul Business Unit, the Engine/APU Overhaul Business Unit, and the Aircraft Cabin Business Unit, 17 operation and management support departments, as well as branch offices in Chongqing, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Hohhot, Shanghai, Wuhan, Guiyang, Guangzhou, Wenzhou and Dalian, plus a maintenance team in Urumqi. New Ameco has more than 200 domestic and international maintenance sites, forming a maintenance network covering China and overseas. Air China holds maintenance licenses issued by nearly 30 countries and territories, including the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). We have been authorized as a Designated Modification Design Organization Representative (DMDOR) by CAAC, received Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from EASA, and our strong maintenance capabilities have won the approval and trust of more than 100 airlines worldwide.Since the late 1980s, Air China's maintenance team have made important breakthroughs on nearly 20 Chinese maintenance projects and received national or CAAC awards for more than 100 R&D projects, contributing significantly to progress in China's aircraft maintenance sector.
We are a flight operations control expert. Our flights around the world are under the watchful eyes of our highly professional flight controllers at any minute. Our computerized flight plan system retrieves information from the aircraft performance database, global navigation database, global airport database and high altitude weather database, selects the best flight routes, develop flight plans, evaluate aircraft performance and confirm flight qualifications, ensuring strict compliance with the flight safety regulations before any aircraft is given the green light to take off. We have developed our own proprietary Operations & Management System, which is integrated with the Satellite Communications System, Air-Ground Data Communication System and Shortwave Radio System, making us the first domestic carrier with 24/7 super remote monitoring and control capabilities.
Air China has a professional and efficient ground service team, who can provide domestic and foreign airlines with a wide range of ground services, including passenger entry and exit, transfer services, special passenger services, VIP passenger services, first/business class lounge service, baggage transportation, load balancing, tarmac operations, cabin cleaning and special transportation services. We offer load balancing services at over 100 airports in China and overseas, and we are the first domestic carrier with a central load balancing operations model. Also, Air China is the first airline in China to launch a self-check-in service and automated baggage check-in service, as well as automatic distribution of aircraft within terminals.
Air China attaches great importance to the recruitment and training of talent. Air China's Flight Training Squadron is responsible for the training and management of trainee and newly-recruited pilots. Flight training is carried out at our Flight Operations Training Centre, which boasts world-class instructors and facilities, offering a steady supply of high-calibre, proficient pilots. On the cabin service front, Air China’s Crew Training Centre is China's first large-scale multifunctional training centre for flight crew, and the first such training centre to be accredited by the CAAC, thus earning itself the nickname of “Asia’s No. 1 Cabin”. The cabin crew training center has an experienced team of full- and part-time instructors, including outstanding Air China cabin crew who have accumulated a wealth of teaching and training experience and have helped to set the standard for an outstanding cabin service.
Air China continues to improve its management standards and brand value. Air China has been named by World Brand Lab as one of the "World's 500 Most Influential Brands" for the 16th consecutive year, and was the only Chinese civil aviation company on the list. Air China has also received the "No. 1 Chinese Brand Award" in the Aviation category and the "Annual Chinese Cultural Brand Award" for 16 years consecutively. In 2022, Air China was named number 24 on World Brand Lab's list of China's Top 500 Most Valuable Brands, ranking first among Chinese airlines. Air China was honored with the title of "Outstanding Enterprise for Brand Building 2013-2015" by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council. Air China was also listed as one of the "Top 10 Global Brands of China" by the British Financial Times and US-based consulting firm McKinsey & Company. The company has also won the title of "Best Chinese Airline," the annual "Best Airline Award," the "Best Corporate Image Prize," and the "National Enterprise Culture Outstanding Achievement Award," and was named among the "Top 10 Chinese Economic Leaders".
Air China consciously fulfills its social responsibilities and always views taking public responsibility as its own personal responsibility. Through its own sustainable development, it creates a steady source of tax revenue and provides employment opportunities for the country. The company actively participates in public welfare practices, devoting itself to disaster relief, and making a contribution to both the country and society at large. Air China’s leading group has previously been named a “National Advanced Collective in Creating ‘Four Good Groups’ by a State-owned Enterprise” by the Organization Department of the Central Committee and by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council. Air China did an excellent job offering air transportation services for the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. At the Summing-up & Commendation Meeting of the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games held by the Party Central Committee and State Council in the Great Hall of the People on September 29, 2008, Air China was awarded the honorary title of “Advanced Collective of the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games.”On April 8, 2022, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council commended the groups and individuals who had made outstanding contributions to preparing and organizing the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Zhang Xin, Deputy General Manager of Air China's Ground Service Department was awarded the honorary title of "Individuals with Outstanding Contributions." In carrying out various emergency rescue transportation missions at home and abroad, such as in the fight against the SARS epidemic in 2003, and relief efforts for victims of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake and the 2010 Yushu earthquake, the Haiti rescue efforts in 2010, the Japanese tsunami disaster relief efforts and evacuation of Chinese nationals from Libya in 2011, the 2015 Nepal earthquake relief efforts, and the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, As the national airline, Air China is committed to responding quickly in times of need. In 2020, during the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, Air China has carried out a total of 216 rescue charter flights, transported 31,000 epidemic prevention workers and 1,403 tons of epidemic prevention materials, as well as having carried out more than 20 repatriation missions. On September 8, 2020, a national conference was held to recognize role models in China’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Air China Flight Corps, as well as Chief Attendant Liu Tingting, were given the honorary titles of National Distinguished Group and National Distinguished Individual for their response to COVID-19. In 2021, COVID-19 was still at large. Driven by a strong sense of responsibility, Air China stayed committed to the principles of "life first, people first and country first" and established an "air bridge", operating a total of 2,266 international passenger flights and 16,000 preighters, transporting more than 300,000 passengers, 365,000 tons of goods and 641 tons of COVID-19 vaccine products, and contributing to fighting the pandemic.