China Eastern Airlines

China Eastern Airlines
China Eastern Airlines
Zhōngguó Dōngfāng Hángkōng Gōngsī
Founded 1988
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Eastern Miles
Alliance SkyTeam
Subsidiaries Shanghai Airlines
Fleet size 270 (+182 Orders)
Destinations 110
Company slogan Traveling the globe, making dreams come true
Headquarters Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
Shanghai, China
Key people Liu Shaoyong (Chairman)

China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited (simplified Chinese: 中国东方航空股份有限公司; traditional Chinese: 中國東方航空; pinyin: zhōngguó dōngfāng hángkōng gǔfèn yǒuxiàn gōngsī, inside China colloquially known as 东航) (SSE: 600115 SEHK0670 NYSECEA) is an airline headquartered on the grounds of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Changning District, Shanghai, China.[1] It is a major Chinese airline operating international, domestic and regional routes. Its main hubs are at Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport.[2] China Eastern also has hubs at Kunming Wujiaba International Airport and Xi'an Xianyang International Airport. China Eastern Airlines is China's second-largest carrier by passenger numbers and the world’s third-biggest carriers by market value. On 16 April 2010, China Eastern Airlines announced an initial agreement to join SkyTeam.[3][4] On 21 June 2011, China Eastern, along with is subsidiary Shanghai Airlines, officially joined the SkyTeam airline alliance, becoming the 14th member and the second Chinese carrier to join (the other being China Southern Airlines).[5]

In 2010, China Eastern Airlines carried 64.93 million domestic and international passengers with an average load factor of 78%. The airline reported a net profit of CNY5.3 billion ($807 million) in 2010. [6][7]


History and development

China Eastern Airlines A320-200
China Eastern Airlines A330-200
China Eastern Airlines B737-700

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 Great Wall Airlines.[2] 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%). 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.[8][9]

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.[10][11] 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.[12] 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.[13][14] However on September 24 Cathay Pacific announced that it had abandoned such plans.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

On 11 June 2009, it was announced that China Eastern Airlines would merge with Shanghai Airlines.[18] The merger of China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines was expected to reduce excess-competition between the two Shanghai-based carriers and to consolidate Shanghai's status as an international aviation hub. In February 2010, the merger was completed. Shanghai Airlines became a wholly owned subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines. However, Shanghai Airlines will retain its brand and livery. The new combined airline is expected to have over half of the market share in Shanghai, the financial hub of China.


China Eastern Airlines has a strong presence on routes in Asia, North America and Australia. The airline looks to exploit the domestic market potential as it boosts flight frequencies from Shanghai to other Chinese cities. The airline is also accelerating the pace of international expansion by increasing flight frequencies to international destinations. In 2007, it began operations to New York from Shanghai, making it the longest non-stop route for the airline. On November 22, China Eastern Airlines started a twice-weekly seasonal flights on the Shanghai–Brisbane route, but these flights didn't continue during 2010/11. Instead, the carrier operated charters to Cairns. In addition, the carrier is planning to launch services to Rome and hopes to open more routes to Europe, US and Australia[citation needed]. The airline is seeking regulatory approval to begin flights to Hawaii.[19]

Codeshare agreements

As of June 2011, China Eastern Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines, beside SkyTeam members:

Passenger fleet

China Eastern Airlines is an important customer of Airbus. It was the first Chinese carrier to have ordered from the manufacturer. The backbone of the fleet is the A320 series, which are primarily used for domestic flights. In 2005, China Eastern Airlines placed an order for 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. However, the airline have cancelled its order owing to the program's continuous delays and switch to Boeing 737 Next Generation.[20] On 18 October 2011, China Eastern Airlines placed an order for 15 Airbus A330.[21][22]

China Eastern Airlines's fleet includes the following aircraft (as of August 2011):

China Eastern Airlines Fleet[23]
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers
P J Y Total
Airbus A300-600R
24 250
Airbus A319-100
8 114
Airbus A320-200
8 150
Airbus A321-200
20 157
Airbus A330-200
24 240
Airbus A330-300
38 260
Airbus A340-300
12 28 247
Airbus A340-600
8 42 272
Boeing 737-300
8 120
Boeing 737-700
8 126
Boeing 737-800
8 162
Boeing 737NG
Bombardier CRJ200
Embraer ERJ 145
Total 270 227

Eastern Miles

Eastern Miles logo

China Eastern Airlines's frequent-flyer program is called Eastern Miles (simplified Chinese: 东方万里行; traditional Chinese: 東方萬里行). Shanghai Airlines, China Eastern's subsidiary, is also part of the program. Enrollment is free of charge. Eastern Miles members can earn miles on flights as well as through consumption with China Eastern's credit card. When enough miles are collected, members can be upgraded to VIP. VIP membership of Eastern Miles can be divided into two tiers: Golden Card membership and Silver Card membership. VIP membership can enjoy extra privileged services.[24]

Eastern Miles VIP Membership Tiers
Tier Level Benefits Requirements
  • Priority seat reservation 48 hours before flight takeoff
  • Priority for waitlisting and class upgrade
  • First Class Lounge Access with a companion
  • Extra Luggage Allowance: 40kg for domestic flights and 20kg for international flights
  • Priority baggage handling with First Class tag
  • Usage of check-in formalities at First Class Counter with a companion

180000 Elite Points

  • Priority seat reservation 72 hours before flight takeoff
  • Priority for waitlisting and class upgrade
  • Business Class Lounge Access
  • Extra Luggage Allowance: 20kg for domestic flights and 10kg for international flights
  • Priority baggage handling with Business Class tag
  • Usage of check-in formalities at Business Class Counter

100000 Elite Points


China Cargo Airlines Boeing 777F
China Cargo Airlines Boeing 747-400ERF

After the merger with Shanghai Airlines, China Eastern Airlines signaled that it would combine the two carriers' cargo subsidiaries as well. The airline's new subsidiary cargo carrier, consisting of the assets of China Cargo Airlines, Great Wall Airlines and Shanghai Airlines Cargo, will commence operations in 2011 from its base in Shanghai, China's largest air cargo market.[25] China Eastern Airlines signed a strategic co-operation framework agreement with Shanghai Airport Group, which controls both Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport. The airline will allocate more capacity to Pudong Airport to open more international routes and boost flight frequencies on existing international and domestic trunk routes.

China Cargo Airlines

China Eastern Airlines's cargo subsidiary, China Cargo Airlines, is China's first all-cargo airline operating dedicated freight services using China Eastern Airlines' route structure. The cargo airline carries the same logo of China Eastern Airlines.

Incidents and accidents

  • On August 15, 1989, a China Eastern flight from Shanghai to Nanchang, a Y-7 (Reg. B-3417) crashed on take off due to No.2 engine failure, killing 34 of 40 on board.
  • On April 6, 1993, China Eastern Flight 583, a McDonnell-Douglas MD-11, (Reg. B-2171), from Shanghai to Los Angeles, had an inadvertent deployment of the leading edge wing slats while cruising. The aircraft progressed through several violent pitch oscillations and lost 5,000 feet (1,500 m) of altitude. Two passengers were killed.
  • On October 26, 1993, Flight 5398 from Shenzhen to Fuzhou, a McDonnell-Douglas MD-82 (Reg. B-2103) crashed near Fuzhou airport, after a failed attempt to go around on approach, killing 2 of 80 on board.
  • On September 11, 1998, China Eastern Flight 586, a McDonnell-Douglas MD-11, flying from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport to Beijing Capital International Airport, suffered a nose gear failure after take-off. The aircraft landed back in Shanghai with the nose gear up on a foamed runway.[26] A clip from the landing is available online.
  • On November 21, 2004, Flight 5210 from Baotou to Shanghai, a Bombardier CRJ-200 (Reg. B-3072) small passenger jet crashed in Inner Mongolia one minute after departure, killing all 53 occupants.
  • In March 2008, pilots of 21 CEA flights returned their aircraft to the airport of departure, citing various reasons for doing so, as part of a union contract dispute. In retaliation, the government removed the carrier's rights to a range of services in the southern China province of Yunnan. In late October 2008, Chinese media reports indicated that the carrier would shortly be able to resume flights to Kunming, Xishuangbanna and Dali.[27]

In popular culture

  • A movie named "Emergency Landing" was made by Shanghai Film Studio based on the incident of China Eastern Flight 586. The airline name was eliminated, but the livery of the aircraft is recognizable.
  • China Eastern Airlines appears frequently on the Japanese air traffic control video game Air Traffic Controller (video game)

See also


  1. ^ "China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd. (CEA)." Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved on October 3, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International: p. 64. 2007-04-03. 
  3. ^ China Eastern to join SkyTeam, SkyTeam press release, 16 April 2010
  4. ^ China Eastern backs SkyTeam partnership, China Daily, 17 April 2010
  5. ^ Cantle, Katie (2011-06-23). "China Eastern becomes 14th SkyTeam member". ATWOnline. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 
  6. ^ China Eastern Airlines says 2010 profit up sharply on rebound in air travel after crisis - Society - Canada - World - The Guardian[dead link]
  7. ^ China Eastern Airlines Co - DJ China Eastern Airlines Net Profit Surges To CNY4.96 Bln
  8. ^ Shanghai Daily[dead link]
  9. ^ Channel News Asia[dead link]
  10. ^ SIA approved to buy into China Eastern Flight Global, 31/08/07
  11. ^ "SIA, China Eastern Airlines announce strategic tie-up". Channel NewsAsia. September 2, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  12. ^ "Singapore Airlines, Temasek sign China Eastern deal". Channel NewsAsia. November 9, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  13. ^ "Cathay Pacific to try and block Singapore Airlines: report". Agence France-Presse (Channel NewsAsia). September 22, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  14. ^ Chinese
  15. ^ Cathay Pacific abandons China Eastern plan
  16. ^ / Companies / Transport - Air China pursues China Eastern stake
  17. ^ Anderlini, Jamil (2008-01-08). "Shareholders reject Singapore Air offer". Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  18. ^ China Eastern Airlines announces detailed merger plan with Shanghai Airlines_English_Xinhua
  19. ^ "Aviation Photos & Video". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  20. ^ "China Eastern abandons 787 order for 737s". Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  21. ^ "China Eastern orders 15 A330s, drops five A340s". 2011-05-05. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  22. ^ "China Eastern orders 15 Airbus 330s". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  23. ^ China Eastern Airlines - Details and Fleet History - Just Aviation
  24. ^ Welcome to Eastern Miles
  25. ^ September 30, 2010
  26. ^ ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas MD-11 B-2173 Shanghai-Hongqiao Airport (SHA)
  27. ^ Aviation Week & Space Technology Vol. 169 No. 16, 27 Oct. 2008, "Rerouted", p. 18

External links

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