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China Eastern Airlines
Zhōngguó Dōngfāng Hángkōng Gōngsī
Founded 1988
Focus cities
Frequent flyer program Eastern Miles
Fleet size 248 by Nov 2009 [1] (+67 orders)
Destinations 103
Company slogan Traveling the globe, making dreams come true
Headquarters Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Key people Liu Shaoyong (Chairman)
China Eastern Airlines Airbus A340-600 in special Expo 2010 livery
China Eastern Airlines MD-90-30, January 2006
China Eastern Airlines Airbus A340-600, with smog in the distant background
China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-700

China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited (simplified Chinese: 中国东方航空股份有限公司 or 中国东航traditional Chinese: 中國東方航空pinyin: zhōngguó dōngfāng hángkōng gǔfèn yǒuxiàn gōngsī) (SSE: 600115 SEHK: 0670 NYSECEA) is an airline headquartered on the grounds of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Changning District, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.[2] It is a major Chinese airline operating international, domestic and regional routes. Its main base is Shanghai Pudong International Airport, with a hub at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport.[3]

On 11 June 2009, it was announced that China Eastern will merge with Shanghai Airlines.[4] All Shanghai Airline flights will codeshare with corresponding China Eastern flights until the official merge. The airline has been given a three-star rating from Skytrax. It is also a Skytrax quality approved airline. [5]



The airline was established on 25 June 1988, under the CAAC Huadong Administration. 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. It founded China Cargo Airlines in a joint venture with COSCO in 1998. In March 2001, it completed the takeover of Air Great Wall.[3] China Yunnan Airlines and China Northwest Airlines merged into China Eastern Airlines in 2003.

The Chinese government has a majority ownership stake in China Eastern Airlines (61.64%), while some shares are publicly held (H shares, 32.19%); A shares, 6.17%). China Eastern has 29,746 employees as of March 2007; [3] it had 16,435 employees in January 2005. On April 20, 2006, the media broke the news of a possible sale of up to 20% of its stake to foreign investors, including Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airline and Japan Airlines, with Singapore Airlines confirming that negotiations were underway.[6][7]

After receiving approval from the State Council of China, it was announced that on September 2, 2007, Singapore Airlines and Temasek Holdings (holding company which owns 55% of Singapore Airlines) would jointly acquire shares of China Eastern Airlines.[8][9] On November 9, 2007, investors signed a final agreement to buy a combined 24% stake in China Eastern Airlines: Singapore Airlines will own 15.73% and Temasek Holdings - 8.27% stake in the airline.[10]

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 (which already holds an 11% stake in China Eastern) at the shareholders' meeting in December 2007.[11][12] However on September 24 Cathay Pacific announced that it had abandoned such plans.[13]

Air China's parent company, the China National Aviation Corporation, a state-owned company, announced in January 2008 that it would offer 32% more than Singapore Airlines for the 24% stake in China Eastern, potentially complicating the deal that Singapore Airlines and Temasek had proposed.[14] However, minority shareholders declined the offer made by Singapore Airlines. It is thought that this is due to the massive effort made by Air China to buy the 24% stake.[15]

Either way, it could also mean that a Star Alliance member would be the main airline stakeholder for China Eastern, which is considering entering the Skyteam or Oneworld alliance.


China Eastern Airlines has a strong presence on routes in Asia, North America and Australia. In 2004, the airline terminated all its European routes (Madrid, Munich and Brussels) with the only exception of Paris, and started flights to London Heathrow and Moscow Sheremetyevo. It created a new Shanghai-Melbourne route the same year. In 2007, China Eastern Airlines began servicing its first African destination, Johannesburg (via Malé); however, China Eastern ended the route in May 2008. Also in 2007, it began operations to New York from Shanghai, making it the longest nonstop route for the airline. On November 22, China Eastern Airlines started a seasonal service on a Shanghai - Brisbane route, flying twice per week.

According to Bloomberg, China Eastern Airlines was slated to add two more flights to its Shanghai-Los Angeles route, to start in June 2008. All the other major airlines in China are adding four or five destinations. [16] Other sources report that China Eastern will add extra flights to London, New York and Vancouver. However, the Airline decided to suspend its route to London from March 5, 2009, to March 29, 2010 because of the downturn in the global economy.[17]

The company had promised to begin flying to Algiers in August 2008, but never did so; it is was then predicted to start its flights to Algiers in mid-2009. As of 2010 rumors of the airline returning to Madrid are starting to take shape, with Air China increasing its frequencies to the Spanish capital from Beijing, China Eastern has seen an interest in flying to Madrid from Shanghai, probably via a city in Middle East or Moscow. [1][2]


The China Eastern Airlines fleet includes the following aircraft (as of June 2009) [3]:

China Eastern Airlines Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers
Airbus A300-600R 14 0 274 (0/24/250)
Airbus A319-100 15 0 122 (0/8/114)
Airbus A320-200 76 31 158 (0/8/150)
Airbus A321-200 15 0 177 (0/20/157)
Airbus A330-200 5 0 264 (0/24/240)
Airbus A330-300 15 15 298 (0/38/260)
Airbus A340-300 5 0 287 (12/28/247)
Airbus A340-600 5 0 322 (8/42/272)
Boeing 737-300 22 0 128 (0/8/120)
Boeing 737-700 33 11 134 (0/8/126)
Boeing 737-800 9 4 170 (0/8/162)
Boeing 767-300ER 3 0 245(0/45/200)
Boeing 787-8 0 15 TBA
Bombardier CRJ200 5 0 ?
Embraer ERJ 145 10 0 ?
McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 9 0 157 (0/12/145), To be sold to Delta Air Lines
China Cargo Airlines
Airbus A300-600RF 3 0 Cargo
Boeing 747-400ERF 2 0 Cargo
McDonnell Douglas MD-11F 6 0 Cargo
Tupolev Tu-204-120C 0 2 Cargo


A China Eastern Airbus A340 landing at Vancouver International Airport

China Eastern Airlines has the following subsidiaries:


China Cargo Airlines

China Cargo Airlines is a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, it became independent in 2004, serving destinations in Japan, North America and Europe.

China Eastern Airlines Jiangsu

This subsidiary airline is based in Nanjing, started operations in 1993 and operates services from Nanjing using aircraft from the parent company. Its main base is Nanjing Lukou International Airport. It is owned by China Eastern Airlines (63%) and Jiangsu Provincial Guoxin Asset Management Group (24%).[3]

China Eastern Airlines Wuhan

This subsidiary airline (ICAO Code: CWU) is based in Wuhan, started operations in 1986 and operates domestic scheduled services from Wuhan and international services to Thailand. In September 1997, the airline jointly founded the Xinxing (New Star) Alliance with five other provincial airlines. In August 2002 the airline was acquired by China Eastern Airlines and renamed China Eastern Airlines Wuhan, operating under the China Eastern name and using the parent company's aircraft. Its main base is Wuhan Tianhe International Airport. It is owned by China Eastern Airlines (96%), state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (2%) and others (2%).[3]

China Eastern Yunnan Airlines

This subsidiary airline (IATA Code: 3Q, ICAO Code: CYH), was established in July 1992 and operates scheduled domestic services on trunk and secondary routes, as well as tourist routes from Kunming to Southeast Asia, using aircraft from the parent company. It was established in 1992 from the CAAC Yunnan regional authority. In October 2002, China Eastern Airlines took control with approval from the Chinese Cabinet. It is wholly owned by China Eastern Air Holding and its main base is Kunming Wujiaba International Airport.[3]

Incidents and accidents

Codeshare agreements

As of Jan 2010, China Eastern Airlines had codeshare agreements with the following airlines:

SkyTeam alliance airlines
Oneworld alliance airlines
Star Alliance alliance airlines


  1. ^
  2. ^ "China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd. (CEA)." Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved on October 3, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International: p. 64. 2007-04-03. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ China Eastern Airlines Official 3 Star Ranking for China Eastern Airlines product and China Eastern Airlines service quality
  6. ^ Shanghai Daily
  7. ^ Channel News Asia
  8. ^ SIA approved to buy into China Eastern Flight Global, 31/08/07
  9. ^ "SIA, China Eastern Airlines announce strategic tie-up". Channel NewsAsia. September 2, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  10. ^ "Singapore Airlines, Temasek sign China Eastern deal". Channel NewsAsia. November 9, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  11. ^ "Cathay Pacific to try and block Singapore Airlines: report". Agence France-Presse (Channel NewsAsia). September 22, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  12. ^ Chinese
  13. ^ Cathay Pacific abandons China Eastern plan
  14. ^ / Companies / Transport - Air China pursues China Eastern stake
  15. ^ Anderlini, Jamil (2008-01-08). "Shareholders reject Singapore Air offer". Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  16. ^ Canada
  17. ^ China Eastern Airlines London Office
  18. ^ ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas MD-11 B-2173 Shanghai-Hongqiao Airport (SHA)
  19. ^ Aviation Week & Space Technology Vol. 169 No. 16, 27 Oct. 2008, "Rerouted", p. 18
  20. ^ Codeshare Alliances - China Eastern Airlines

External links


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