Category Archives: China Eastern Airlines

Was China Eastern Airlines flight MU5735 crash intentional?

New speculation is developing that China Eastern flight MU5735 may have been the result of an intentional action by either the crew, an individual or another party. The aircraft was put into a dive.

From Reuters:

“Investigators looking into the crash of a China Eastern Airlines jet are examining the actions of the crew on the flight deck, with no evidence found of a technical malfunction, two people briefed on the matter said.

In mainland China’s deadliest aviation disaster for 28 years, the Boeing 737-800 crashed in the mountains of southern Guangxi on March 21, after a sudden plunge from cruising altitude, killing all 123 passengers and nine crew.”

Boeing statement on China Eastern Airlines flight MU 5735

Boeing issued this short statement on China Eastern Airlines flight MU 5735:

“We extend our deepest condolences for the loss of those on board China Eastern Airlines Flight MU 5735. Our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers and crew, their families and all those affected by this accident.

Boeing will continue to support our airline customer during this difficult time.

In addition, a Boeing technical team is supporting the NTSB and the Civil Aviation Administration of China who will lead the investigation.”

China Eastern Airlines flight MU 5735 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Kunming to Guangzhou in China. On March 21, 2022, the Boeing 737-89P aircraft (B-1791) descended steeply mid-flight and struck the ground at high speed in Teng County, Wuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, killing all 123 passengers and 9 crew members.

Flight MU735 from Kunming to  Guangzhou with 132 on board crashed into a forest on March 21, 2022

Above Copyright Photo: China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-89P WL B-1791 (msn 41474) (Yunnan Peacock) PEK (Michael B. Ing). Image: 957101.

China Eastern Airlines aircraft slide show:

China Eastern Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 B-1791 crashes in Guangxi Province with 132 people on board

China Eastern Airlines flight MU5735 with 123 passengers and 9 crew members crashed in a mountainous region in Wuzhou, with the explosion setting off a fire in the woods.

The aircraft involved is Boeing 737-89P B-1791.

Note: This is NOT a Boeing 737 MAX.

Flight MU5735 left Kunming at 13:11 local time (05:11 GMT) and was scheduled to arrive Guangzhou at 15:05.

According to Flightradar24 “flight MU5735 was flying from Kunming to Guangzhou. It took off from Kunming at 05:11 UTC. It was cruising at 29.100 feet until 06:20:59 when it suddenly started to lose altitude very fast.”

The airliner was in the air for over an hour when it suddenly dived into a mountain and start a fire in a forrest.

Tragically there is no sign of survivors.

China Eastern issued this statement:

Flight MU735 from Kunming to Guangzhou with 132 on board crashed into a forest on March 21, 2022

Above Copyright Photo: B-1791 was painted in the special “Yunnan Peacock” livery. China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-89P WL B-1791 (msn 41474) (Yunnan Peacock) PEK (Michael B. Ing). Image: 957100.

More details to follow.

Airbus delivers first A350 from its widebody completion and delivery center in China

Airbus has delivered the first A350 from its widebody completion and delivery center in Tianjin (C&DC), China, taking additional steps in the expansion of its global footprint and long-term strategic partnership with China.

The A350-900 aircraft was delivered to China Eastern Airlines, the largest Airbus operator in Asia and second largest in the world. At the end of June 2021, China Eastern Airlines operated an Airbus fleet of 413 aircraft, including 349 A320 Family aircraft, 55 A330 Family aircraft and nine A350 aircraft.

“I’m proud that Airbus successfully extended the capability of the widebody C&DC in Tianjin to the A350, the latest new generation aircraft, at such a difficult time of global aviation,” said George Xu, Airbus Executive Vice President and Airbus China CEO. “This is a new milestone in the long-term cooperation between China and Airbus, which further demonstrates Airbus’ commitment to the country. Congratulations to China Eastern Airlines, our long-term strategic partner, for receiving the first A350 delivered from China, and I appreciate their trust in Airbus and in our products as always.”

Located at the same site as the Airbus Tianjin A320 Family Final Assembly Line and the Airbus Tianjin Delivery Centre, the widebody C&DC covers the aircraft completion activities, including cabin installation, aircraft painting and production flight test, as well as customer flight acceptance and aircraft delivery.

The centre was inaugurated in September 2017 with its capability on A330s. Then, during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to China in 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding on the Further Development of Industrial Cooperation was signed in Beijing by He Lifeng, Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China, and Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer, announcing the C&DC would extend its capability to A350 aircraft.

The A350 features the latest aerodynamic design, a carbon-fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these features translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions. The A350’s ‘Airspace by Airbus’ cabin is the quietest of any widebody aircraft and offers passengers and crews the most modern in-flight products for the most comfortable flying experience.

At the end of June 2021, the A350 Family had received 915 firm orders from 49 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Air France-KLM and China Eastern Airlines to reinforce their partnership

Air France-KLM has made this announcement:

In the context of the participation of China Eastern Airlines to the share capital increase of Air France-KLM, both airline groups have decided to extend the scope of their partnership through:

     an intensified commercial cooperation and an extended collaboration to noncommercial related activities (e.g. ground services, catering or maintenance) ;

      an increased footprint on the Beijing market, with the Paris-Beijing and Amsterdam-Beijing routes joining the current Joint Venture existing between Air France-KLM and China Eastern Airlines when conditions are satisfied.

Air France-KLM and China Eastern Airlines are historical partners, with a codeshare cooperation that started in 2000 on the Paris-Shanghai route, a first Joint Venture agreement signed between Air France and China Eastern Airlines in 2012, and an extension of this
agreement to KLM in 2016. China Eastern Airlines took an equity stake in Air France-KLM in 2017, shaping the ambition for a long term strategic partnership.

With this expansion of the cooperation between Air France-KLM and China Eastern Airlines, both airline groups clearly are clearly paving the way to create the most efficient and powerful Joint Venture between Europe and China.

China Eastern flies vaccines to the Dominican Republic

China Eastern flies vaccines to Dominican Republic.

China Eastern Airlines has made this announcement:

A new batch of vaccines developed by Chinese pharmaceutical companies Sinopharm and Sinovac was delivered on March 18 by China Eastern Airlines from Beijing to the Dominican Republic, according to the Shanghai-based airline.

After 17 hours 34 minutes’ flight, the vaccines and syringes traveled 15,988 kilometers to arrive at Santo Domingo, the capital of Dominican Republic.

This is China’s first intercontinental chartered cargo flight to deliver COVID-19 vaccines. Eastern Air Logistics Co, the freight unit under China Eastern Airlines, was in charge of this flight.

Dominican Republic Vice-President and Head of Health Cabinet Raquel Pena welcomed the arrival of the Chinese developed vaccines at the airport, saying the Chinese vaccines brought hope to the Dominican Republic’s people.

Quite a few countries have expressed their willingness to purchase and use China’s COVID-19 vaccines. Shipping via air is the best transportation solution when it comes to convenience, efficiency and safety.

China Eastern reduces its grounded fleet at Shanghai to zero

China Eastern Airlines has made this announcement:

The grounded fleet size of China Eastern Airlines has fallen to zero at its Shanghai base, the carrier said in a note sent to the Global Times on March 12, 2021, another sign that the aviation market is recovering.

At present, China Eastern’s average daily passenger flight volume has recovered to about 2,400. It is expected that there will be a surge in travel during the upcoming Chinese traditional festivals such as Qingming Festival and the May Day holidays.

The carrier said it will add flights between cities such as BeijingGuangzhou in South China’s Guangdong Province and Chengdu in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province in the future.

In 2020, the epidemic brought huge challenges to the global aviation industry. The global air transport volume dropped by 60 percent to 70 percent compared with the previous year. The parking problem of a large number of aircraft also became prominent as more and more airports simply became parking lots.

According to statistics from the International Air Transport Association, 13,700 aircraft, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the total fleet in global were grounded.

China’s major domestic airlines have also reduced the number of flights. Meanwhile, many of the parked planes have either been overhauled or modified, and they must be inspected and maintained regularly in order to avoid corrosion of the aircraft and degradation of battery performance.

China Eastern Airlines has been the least badly affected among China’s three major airlines in terms of grounded aircraft.

China Eastern Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

China Eastern Airlines aircraft slide show:

China Eastern Airlines officially signs a purchase contract for five C919 aircraft

COMAC has issued this statement:

As the world’s first launch customer of the China-made trunk liner C919, China Eastern Airlines officially signed a purchase contract of C919 aircraft with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) in Shanghai on March 1, 2021.

Five C919 aircraft would be introduced in the first batch, and China Eastern Airlines would become the world’s first airline to operate C919 aircraft. This is an important step for China Eastern Airlines in the introduction and commercial operation of the China-made trunk liner as a pioneer after the successful establishment of One Two Three Airlines (OTT Airlines) to operate China-made ARJ21 aircraft and in the first year to implement the 14th Five-Year Plan.

C919 aircraft is a large jet aircraft independently developed by China and owns independent intellectual property right. The aircraft has completed its maiden flight at Shanghai Pudong International Airport on May 5th, 2017. Since the beginning of the development of C919 aircraft, China Eastern Airlines has been striving to become a facilitator of the improvement and optimization of China-made civil aircraft, an explorer of commercial operation mode and a pioneer of market operation. China Eastern Airlines has signed a launch customer agreement and a Letter of Intent for purchasing C919 aircraft with COMAC in 2010; signed a Framework Cooperation Agreement with COMAC in November 2016 during the 11th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, becoming the world’s first user of C919 aircraft; signed an ARJ21-700 Aircraft Sales Agreement with COMAC in Beijing in August 2019; taken the lead among large state-owned backbone air transport enterprises to set up the first airline specialized in the operation of China-made civil aircraft, i.e., OTT Airlines, in February 2020 during the most severe period of the epidemic of COVID-19, and officially put the China-made ARJ21 aircraft into operation.

China Eastern Airlines has been deeply involved in the design and development of C919 aircraft, trained and provided the first C919 flight crew to fly a jet as a companion during the maiden flight of C919 aircraft, and provided suggestions from the perspectives of customer use and maintenance. Relying on the industrial chain partnership and the geographical advantage of being both in Shanghai, China Eastern Airlines and COMAC have constantly promoted cooperation and innovation on the industrial chain, and jointly explored new practices in the commercial operation of C919 aircraft.

China Eastern introduces a CIIE-themed Boeing 777-300

China Eastern Airlines made this announcement:

The high-profile China International Import Expo (CIIE)-themed airplane will fly to Sri Lanka, the last destination of its global tour, on Sept. 18.

The plane will fly to Beijing Daxing International Airport on Sept. 25 to mark the first anniversary of the airport’s operation.

The special CIIE-themed aircraft was jointly launched by China Eastern Airlines (CEA) and the CIIE Bureau on July 2 and made its maiden flight to Pairs one day later, marking the beginning of its global tour.

Serving as the image ambassador of the CIIE during its global tour, the aircraft will fly to 10 countries, including France, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and Sri Lanka, with a total range exceeding 100,000 kilometers.

Meanwhile, the CIIE-themed airplane has attracted great attention from international aviation enthusiasts for its gorgeous appearance and “Fly with CIIE” has become a hot topic on social media platforms.

A Boeing 777-300ER jet (B-2002), which is CEA’s international long-haul flagship aircraft with the largest passenger capacity, the longest range, and leading passenger service system, was chosen as the world’s first CIIE-themed airplane.

The dominant tones of the colored aircraft were the shades of yellow and blue, which are also the theme colors of the CIIE. Besides, the CIIE’s mascot panda “Jinbao” holding a four-leaf clover on the plane expresses good wishes to passengers from all over the world and promotes the CIIE’s idea of openness and cooperation.

CIIE exhibitors from various countries expressed their expectations about the flight schedules of the plane after they were released.

Australian vitamin maker Blackmores has participated in the expo in the past two years and will take part in the third CIIE.

“It’s a very important platform for international cooperation for all companies participating in the China International Import Expo. Encouraging exporters and importers to share some innovations and new products is also important,” said the company’s CEO Alastair Symington, expressing his expectation to attend the third CIIE in Shanghai.

Besides, CEA launched full-process featured services such as CIIE-themed passenger entertainment system, broadcast and boarding passes, and given a CIIE-themed makeover at overseas airports including CIIE mascot dolls, CIIE-themed airplane models, and billboards of the aircraft’s global tour, providing an immersive experience for passengers. A large number of passengers stopped to take pictures.

CEA also chose the digit 115 as a lucky number, which indicates Nov. 5, the opening day of the expo, to present CIIE souvenirs to the passenger with the check-in serial number of 115 on the airplane’s each flight.

The CIIE-themed plane will fly to Beijing Daxing International Airport on Sept. 25 to mark the first anniversary of the airport’s operation. It will also continue its domestic tour in major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xi’an, and Kunming to support local governments and enterprises in attending and publicizing the CIIE. The plane will mainly operate flights between Beijing and Shanghai during the third CIIE from Nov. 5 to 10.

As the seventh-largest airline in the world and the largest main base airline in Shanghai, the host for the CIIE, CEA will play multi-roles of a sponsor, carrier, purchaser, and service provider.

CEA will seize the opportunities brought by the expo to realize “purchasing, flying and serving worldwide.” It will continue to optimize the external cooperation of the aviation industry chain, serve the expo, and inject new vitality and new impetus into the internationalization strategy and high-quality development of enterprises for mutual benefits.