Tag Archives: Air China

Air China’s first Airbus A350-900, delivered on August 8, 2018

1st Airbus A350-900, delivered on August 8, 2018

At the Toulouse Airbus Delivery Centre, the first Airbus A350-900 was handed over to Air China on August 8, 2018. The airline has ordered a total of 10.

The date of 8-8-2018 was chosen for the handover date as 8s are considered to be a good luck sign in China.

At this event the top managers of Airbus, Air China and Rolls Royce were in attendance.

Cao Jianxiong, VP of Air China, in his speech remarked on the great steps taken by the airline in renewing the fleet and for climbing in the worldwide airline rankings.

Paul Freestone, senior VP of customers for Rolls Royce said “Rolls Royce is a partner with 45 years of continuous relations with Air China, which started with the H.S. Tridents equipped with RR Spey engines until now. The decision of Air China to select the RR Trent XWB is an important sign of this partnership”.

George Xu, CEO of Airbus China, reminded “Its so important for the strong relationship between Air China and Airbus. Air China is the first carrier to have ordered the A350 and first to take delivery.

Several hundreds of planes made by Airbus are in the fleet of Air China from the A320 family, A330s, and now the ultra modern A350s”.

1st Airbus A350-900, delivered on August 8, 2018

During this month, the new jet will be introduced between Beijing and Shanghai by August 14, 2018 and later to Chengdu. 

Air China choose to outfit the new widebody jet in a triple class layout. The 312 seats are: 32 in business class with 1-2-1 abreast, 24 in premium economy in 2-4-2 and 256 seats in economy in 3-3-3. All the seats are equipped with personal IFEs.

This year Air China will receive at least 4 A350-900s of the 10 on order. 

1st Airbus A350-900, delivered on August 8, 2018

Five European destinations will see this new twin jet in 2018 and 2019: Frankfurt, London (Heathrow), Milan (Malpensa), Munich and Paris (CDG).

Marco Finelli reporting from France. All photos by Marco Finelli.
Copyright Photos: Air China Airbus A350-941 B-1086 (msn 167) TLS (Marco Finelli). Image: 943021.


Air China aircraft slide show:


Air China takes delivery of its first Airbus A350-900

Air China took delivery of its first A350-900 in Toulouse today (August 8). The national flag carrier is the first Chinese mainland customer to order and take ownership of the world’s newest and most efficient twin-engine widebody aircraft.

Powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, Air China’s A350-900 aircraft features a comfortable three-class cabin layout of 312 seats: 32 business, 24 premium economy and 256 economy. The airline will initially operate the new aircraft on its domestic routes, followed by flights to international destinations.

As of July 2018, Air China operates an Airbus fleet of 201 aircraft, including 142 A320 Family aircraft and 59 A330 Family aircraft.

Photo: Air China.

Air China and Air Canada sign first China-North America airline joint venture

(CNW Group/Air Canada)

On June 6, 2018 at a ceremony in Beijing attended by Jianjiang Cai, Chairman of Air China; Zhiyong Song, President of Air China; and Calin Rovinescu, President & Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada, Air China and Air Canada signed the first joint venture agreement between a Chinese and North American airline, deepening the two carriers’ longstanding partnership. The joint venture enables the two countries’ flag carriers and Star Alliance members to expand their existing codeshare relationship and deepen it by increasing commercial cooperation on flights between Canada and China and on key connecting domestic flights in both countries to provide customers travelling between the two countries with greater and sustainable benefits including an unparalleled range of flights, products and services.

As the joint venture is phased in over the course of the next six months, customers will be able to enjoy exceptional travel options through , It will also enabe us to bring flexible flight choices, favorable fare products and seamless travel experiences, optimized flight schedules, harmonized fare products, joint sales including corporate and marketing programs, aligned frequent flyer privileges, reciprocal lounge access and an overall enhanced travel experience.

The carriers’ recently expanded code-share, effective May 5, 2018, increases the number of CanadaChina connecting flight opportunities for customers by 564 each day.  In December 2017, Air China and Air Canada implemented an expanded reciprocal lounge agreement for customers and introduced the airlines’ first joint frequent flyer promotion for their respective PhoenixMiles and Aeroplan members.

In the last two years, Air China has launched flights directly linking Beijing with Montreal, and Air Canada has launched new non-stop flights between Montreal and Shanghai to meet growth in demand. The two carriers now operate up to a total of 52 trans-Pacific flights per week between Canada and China from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal to and from Beijing and Shanghai.

Photo: Air China.

Air China launches a new Chengdu – London route

Air China Airbus A330-243 B-6093 (msn 884) (Star Alliance) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 941990.

Air China Ltd. launched a new, nonstop service between Chengdu and London on July 3, 2018. The nonstop route will carry Air China passengers from China’s “Land of Abundance” to the beautiful banks of the river Thames.

In recent years, Air China has been expanding its international and domestic route networks, centered around its main hub in Beijing, and supported by its three regional bases in Chengdu, Shanghai and Shenzhen. As part of this effort, Air China has recently launched international routes between Chengdu and Frankfurt, Paris, Sydney and Bangkok. Given its geographical advantage, this year Air China will continue to develop Chengdu as a hub and expand its route coverage there, stepping up passenger throughput to European destinations.

Currently, Air China operates 82 routes out of Chengdu. These include 14 international/regional routes to destinations such as Frankfurt, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Bangkok, Singapore, Rangoon, Kathmandu, Colombo, Hong Kong and Taipei, covering the continents of Asia, Europe and Oceania. As a member of the Star Alliance network, Air China also offers convenient routes to 1,330 airports in 192 countries.

Flight information:

The ChengduLondon route is operated under flight numbers CA423/4 on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays every week. Outbound flights depart from Chengdu at 15:45 and arrive in London at 20:00; return flights depart from London at 22:00 and arrive in Chengdu at 15:40 the following day (all times are local). The new route is operated by Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Business Class travellers enjoy lie-flat seats, while all booking classes enjoy personal in-flight entertainment, ensuring passengers can stretch out and travel in comfort.

Copyright Photo: Air China Airbus A330-243 B-6093 (msn 884) (Star Alliance) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 941990.

Air China aircraft slide show:

Air China to launch new Beijing-Hanoi service

Air China Airbus A330-243 B-6093 (msn 884) (Star Alliance) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 941990.

Air China will launch a new service between Beijing and Hanoi on June 1, 2018.

In recent years, Air China has opened routes between Beijing and Ho Chi Minh, Hangzhou and Nha Trang, and Chongqing and Nha Trang.

Flight information:

The new route between Beijing and Hanoi will be operated under flight numbers CA741/742 four times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Outbound flights will depart from Beijing at 01:25 and arrive in Hanoi at 04:15; inbound flights will depart from Hanoi at 05:45 and arrive in Beijing at 10:25 (all times are local).

Copyright Photo: Air China Airbus A330-243 B-6093 (msn 884) (Star Alliance) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 941990.

Air China aircraft slide show:

Air China announces its 2018 first quarter results

Air China Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 B-1223 (msn 60889) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 941581.

Air China Limited, together with its subsidiaries, announced its first quarter results of 2018:

Results Highlights

  • Total profit increased 66.31% year-on-year to RMB4.024 billion
  • Operating income increased 9.11% year-on-year to RMB31.607 billion
  • Total operating cost increased 6.71% year-on-year to RMB 28.230 billion

Operation and Business Highlights

In the first quarter of 2018, the Chinese economy developed steadily. As residents’ demand for travel was strong, air passenger traffic maintained steady growth while demand in the cargo market continued to improve. During the Period, the Group recorded operating income of RMB31.607 billion, an increase of 9.11% over the same period of last year. Total operating cost was RMB 28.230 billion, an increase of 6.71% over the same period of last year. Total profit was RMB4.024 billion, an increase of 66.31% over the same period of last year, and net profit attributable to shareholders of listed companies was RMB2.628 billion, an increase of 79.23% over the same period of last year.

During the Period, the Group’s passenger capacity, measured by Available Seat Kilometers (ASK) increased by 10.96% year on year to 65.758 billion. The passenger traffic, measured by Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK) was 53.350 billion, an increase of 9.75% year on year. Among which, RPK of domestic routes, international routes and regional routes amounted to 32.596 billion, 18.849 billion, and 1.905 billion, up 7.44%,13.65% and 12.92% year on year, respectively. The passenger load factor was 81.13%, a slight decrease of 0.90 percentage points year on year, of which, the passenger load factor of domestic, international and regional routes were 83.02%, 78.28% and 78.90% respectively.

In terms of air cargo, the Available Freight Ton Kilometers (AFTK) amounted to 3.518 billion, up 9.81% year on year, while the Revenue Freight Ton Kilometers (RFTK) amounted to 1.803 billion, up 10.90% year on year. The cargo and mail load factor was 51.26%, up 0.51 percentage points year on year.


Benefitting from the continued development of the global aviation industry, steady growth of China’s macro economy, and the influence of a series of policies favorable to the industry, we expect the Company will have larger room for development this year. Adhering to the development philosophy of “Innovation, Coordination, Green, Openness and Sharing”, the Group will persist in making progress while pursuing stability, continue to deepen reform and innovation, strengthen cost management and control, optimize capital and debt structure, and consolidate and enhance competitive advantages, so as to achieve better performance and sustainable development to its utmost ability.

Copyright Photo: Air China Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 B-1223 (msn 60889) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 941581.

Air China aircraft slide show:

Air China announces its 2017 annual results

Air China Boeing 777-39L ER B-2035 (msn 38674) (Smiling China) LHR (SPA). Image: 932893.

Air China Limited, together with its subsidiaries, collectively announced its full year results for the 12 months ended December 31, 2017.

Business Highlights

  • Turnover rose 7.71% year-on-year to RMB124.026 billion
  • Operating expenses increased 15.02% year-on-year to RMB112.270 billion
  • Profit before tax increased 12.47% year-on-year to RMB11.486 billion
  • Net profit increased 11.38% year-on-year to RMB8.631 billion

In 2017, China passenger aviation market continued to show strength in demand and supply while outbound travel demand continued to rise, international traffic grew steadily, and cargo business showed signs of recovery. Efficiency increased steadily against a background of aggressive capacity deployment. The Group has capitalized on market opportunities by prudently expanding its business scale, optimizing efficiency, stabilizing income level and strengthening cost management to reinforce its competitive advantage in the core business. In spite of unfavorable factors such as higher jet fuel prices, the Group has delivered solid results for the Period.

Financial Highlights

The  Group recorded a turnover of  RMB 124.026 billion in  2017, an increase of 7.71% from the same period last year. Air transport revenue was up 7.53% year-on year to RMB 115.380 billion. Air passenger revenue was up 6.19% while air cargo revenue was up by 23.48%. And other operating income was RMB 8.646 billion, representing an increase of 10.19% year-on-year.

Operating expenses increased by 15.02% to RMB 112.270 billion. Jet fuel cost recorded a year-on-year increase of RMB6.427 billion, up by 29.24% from the same period last year. During the period, the Group recorded an exchange gain of RMB2.938 billion.

In 2017, profit before tax was RMB11.486 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 12.47%. Net profit was RMB8.641 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 11.38%. The net profit attributable to shareholders of listed companies was RMB7.244 billion, up 6.39% year-on-year.

Based on the 2017 profit distribution plan of the Company, the Board recommends the appropriation of 10% of the profit after tax as statutory surplus reserve and 10% as discretionary surplus reserve and the payment of a cash dividend of RMB1.1497(including tax) for every ten shares for the year 2017. The relevant cash dividend plan will be submitted to the Company’s 2017 Annual General Meeting for consideration.

Business Review

During the Period, the Company’s capacity measured by Available Tonne Kilometers (ATK) was 35.673 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 5.61%. Traffic measured by Revenue Tonne Kilometers (RTK) was 25.385 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 7.12%.


During the Period, the Group carried a total of 102 million  passengers, a year-on-year increase of 5.15%. Passenger capacity, measured by Available Seat Kilometers (ASK), increased by 6.26% to 247.815 billion. Capacity for domestic and international routes rose by 5.88% and 7.80% respectively, while capacity for regional routes fell by 1.99%. Overall passenger traffic, measured by Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK) increased by 6.87% to 210.078 billion. Traffic on domestic, international and regional routes increased by 6.16%, 8.55% and 2.79% year-on-year respectively. Passenger load factor rose by 0.46 percentage points to 81.14%. In 2017, the Group introduced 56 aircraft, and phased out 11 aircraft. The total fleet size was 655 aircraft, with an average age of 6.53 years.

Continue to expand route network and enhance airport hub construction

In view of the national development strategies including the Belt and Road Initiative and the coordinated development of the BeijingTianjinHebei region, 49 domestic routes such as Beijing-Maotai and 12 international and regional routes such as Beijing-Astana were newly launched in 2017. The Group has also made efforts to accelerate the consolidation of layout of the global route network covering six continents, which is connected by the nodes of Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Shenzhen. The flight bank structure has been under continuous optimization and the number of O&D connected reached 5,918; the transfer capacity and quality continuously increased. The interlining service revenue reached RMB5.51 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 15.3%. Luggage checking through service is now provided to all flights from Europe, North America and Australia transferring to domestic routes via Beijing and the competitiveness of its hubs were strengthened. As of December 31, 2017,the Company’s operating air passenger routes reached 420, in which 303 are mainland routes, 101 international routes, 16 regional routes, 40 navigable countries (regions) and 185 navigable cities, among which 116 are mainland cities, 66 international cities and 3 regional cities.

Steadily improve marketing capability and accelerate business model transformation

As of the end of 2017, the Group has steadily improved its marketing capability and accelerated its business model transformation. As at the end of the reporting period, the number of frequent flyer members exceeded 50 million, contributing 43.7% of the Group’s total revenue, representing a year-on-year increase of 3.8%. Due to the continuous efforts devoted to improving mobile application platform, a turnover of RMB5.02 billion was recorded, representing a year-on-year increase of 39.4%. In-depth studies conducted by the Group on passenger demands has allowed Air China to increase its revenue contributed by first class and business class service to RMB13.11 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 12.7%. The revenue generated from ancillary services such as paid seat selection, prepaid luggage and boarding gate upgrade recorded a year-onyear increase of 32%.

Promote high-quality brand strategy and improve service quality.

Focusing on the concept of “Internet plus convenient transportation”, the Group promoted products as self-service check-in, self-service ticket endorsement, self-print itinerary and self-service luggage check-in on all routes and established the whole-process convenient travel service mode. The Group continuously improved service hardware as infrastructure and service software such as operating codes to improve service quality. Air China has also made efforts to promote the application of big data and the construction of “mobile cabin” to realize the timely transmission of operation related information and connect the whole service information chain. As the exclusive official partner of air passenger transport for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and the International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 Beijing China, the Group took such opportunity to promote its brand in a more innovative way and to build its brand image characterized by “the leader of civil aviation industry in China” and “international network coverage”.

Enhance cost control and maintain cost advantage

The Group devoted great energy to streamline and strengthen management, and to improve the quality and efficiency of services. Air China focused on the optimization of the operation of wide-body aircraft to improve cost management system, strengthen cost process management and improve performance. The Group actively carried out the policy of “Lower Leverage, Reduce Liability and Control Risk”. As a result, as at 31 December 2017, the gearing ratio of the Group decreased by 6.15 percentage points to 59.75% compared with last year, which is at a relatively low level in the industry. The Group promoted special projects such as “increase direct sales and reduce distribution costs”, “reduce trade receivables and inventories” and “streamline management structure”. Since 2014, the percentage of the Group’s passenger transport direct sales has increased from 26% to 50.9%, and the percentage of agency commission expense of the marketing revenue has decreased from 4.2% to 1.5%. Therefore, the cost competitiveness of Air China was continuously improved.

Cargo Business

In 2017, Air China Cargo has achieved positive operating results through exploring new business model, optimizing the arrangement of its routes and the structure of cargo sources, as well as focusing on the development and sale of high value-added services such as cold-chain logistics.

During the Period, the Available Freight Tonne Kilometers (AFTK) of Air China Cargo increased 4.57% year-on-year to 13.319 billion, while the Revenue Freight Tonne Kilometers (RFTK) increased by 7.97% year-on-year to 7.553 billion. The cargo and mail load factor increased by 1.78 percentage points to 56.70%.


2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the Reform and Opening of China, and also the first year to implement the guiding principles of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. The Group will fully implement the guiding principles of the 19th National Congress. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, adhering to the development principles of “Innovation, Coordination, Green, Openness and Sharing”, Air China will focus on the reform on quality, efficiency and growth driver, carry out work in a down-to-earth manner, prevent and mitigate risks and strengthen Party building, and will take a solid step towards to strategic goal of building a world-class aviation group by achieving further spectacular performance in safety, results, service and reform.

Copyright Photo: Air China Boeing 777-39L ER B-2035 (msn 38674) (Smiling China) LHR (SPA). Image: 932893.

Air China aircraft slide show: