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China Eastern Airlines

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China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited (simplified Chinese: 中国东方航空公司; traditional Chinese: 中國東方航空公司, colloquially known as 东航/東航) (pinyin- Zhōngguó dōngfāng hángkōng gōngsī ) is an airline headquartered in the China Eastern Airlines Building,[2] on the grounds of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Changning District, Shanghai.[3] 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.[4]

China Eastern Airlines
Zhōngguó Dōngfāng Hángkōng Gōngsī
China Eastern Airlines logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded25 June 1988; 31 years ago (1988-06-25)
Secondary hubs
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer programEastern Miles
Fleet size552
Company sloganWorld-Class Hospitality with Eastern Charm (世界品位,东方魅力)
Parent company
  • China Eastern Air Holding Company
HeadquartersNo. 2550 Hongqiao Rd, Shanghai
Key people
RevenueIncrease CN¥85.25 billion (2012)[1]
Operating incomeIncrease CN¥4.228 billion (2012)[1]
Net incomeDecrease CN¥2.808 billion (2012)[1]
Total assetsIncrease CN¥123.82 billion (2012)[1]
Total equityIncrease CN¥22.93 billion (2012)[1]
Employees80,000 (March, 2016)
China Eastern Airlines
Simplified Chinese中国东方航空公司
Traditional Chinese中國東方航空公司
Current headquarters at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, shared with Shanghai Airlines

China Eastern Airlines is China's second-largest carrier by passenger numbers after Air China. China Eastern and its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines became the 14th member of SkyTeam on 21 June 2011.[5] The parent company of China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited is China Eastern Air Holding Company.

History and developmentEdit

The previous logo of China Eastern Airlines until 2014.

China Eastern Airlines was established on 25 June 1988 under the Civil Aviation Administration of China 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. In 1998 it founded China Cargo Airlines in a joint venture with COSCO. In March 2001, it completed the takeover of Great Wall Airlines.[4] China Yunnan Airlines and China Northwest Airlines merged into China Eastern Airlines in 2003.

Liu Shaoyong in 2014

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 20 April 2006 the media broke the news of a possible sale of up to 20% of its stake to foreign investors, including Singapore Airlines, Emirates 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 2 September 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 9 November 2007 investors signed a final agreement to buy a combined 24% stake in China Eastern Airlines: Singapore Airlines would own 15.73% and Temasek Holdings an 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 held an 11% stake in China Eastern) at the shareholders' meeting in December 2007.[11][12] However, on 24 September Cathay Pacific announced that it had abandoned these plans.[13]

Air China's parent company, state-owned China National Aviation Corporation, 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 was due to the massive effort made by Air China to buy the 24% stake.[15]

On 11 June 2009, it was announced that China Eastern Airlines would merge with Shanghai Airlines.[16] The merger of China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines was expected to reduce excess competition between the two Shanghai-based carriers while consolidating 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 retained its brand and livery. The new combined airline was expected to have over half of the market share in Shanghai, the financial hub of China.

In March 2012, it was announced that China Eastern was forging a strategic alliance with the Qantas Group to set up Jetstar Hong Kong, a new low cost airline to be based at Hong Kong International Airport, which would commence operations in 2013.[17] China Eastern would hold a 50% stake in the new airline, with the Qantas Group holding the other 50%, representing a total investment of US$198 million.[18] However, in June 2015, the Hong Kong authority refused to issue operating license to Jetstar Hong Kong. China Eastern and Qantas subsequently announced the end of the investment.

In April 2013, China Eastern got a temporary permit to operate in the Philippines, but the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines required them to obtain a technical permit and an airport slot.[19][20]

In 2012, China Eastern was awarded the “Golden Ting Award” at the China Capital Market Annual Conference 2012, recognizing it as one of the 50 most valuable Chinese brands by WPP and ranking in the top ten of FORTUNE China's CSR ranking 2013.

On September 9, 2014, China Eastern introduced a new logo and new livery.[21] In 2015, the airline entered a partnership with Delta Air Lines in which Delta will buy a 3.55% share in China Eastern for $450 million.[22]

China Eastern from June 30, 2015, launched new service to the US, as the Skyteam member plans three weekly Chengdu – Nanjing – Los Angeles operation with Airbus A330-200 (twin-jet) (A332) aircraft.[23]

In 2017, China Eastern Airlines reported a net profit of CNY6.4 billion ($983 million), up 41% over net income of CNY4.5 billion in 2016.[24]


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 City from Shanghai, making it the longest non-stop route for the airline. In 2016, China Eastern Airlines also launched direct flights from Shanghai to Prague, Amsterdam, Madrid and St. Petersburg.

Codeshare agreementsEdit

China Eastern Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[25]


China Eastern Airlines Airbus A330-200 at Frankfurt Airport
China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-700
China Eastern Airlines A320-200 taxiing at Kansai International Airport
China Eastern Airlines Airbus A330-200 in new livery
China Eastern Yunnan Airlines Boeing 787-9 at Beijing Capital International Airport

As of October 2019, the China Eastern Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft:[26][27]

China Eastern Airlines Passenger Fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
P J W Y Total
Airbus A319-100 35 8 114 122
Airbus A320-200 180 8 150 158
Airbus A320neo 24 46 8 12 138 158 Deliveries through 2020[28]
Airbus A321-200 77 20 155 175
12 166 178
12 170 182
Airbus A330-200 30 24 240 264
30 204 234
30 202 232
Airbus A330-300 24 38 262 300
32 32 230 294
Airbus A350-900 6 14 4 36 32 216 288 Deliveries through 2022[29][30]
Boeing 737-700 39 8 126 134
8 120 128
140 140
Boeing 737-800 111 4 8 156 164
8 162 170
12 150 162
20 138 158
8 18 150 176
Boeing 737 MAX 8 3 36 8 18 150 176 Deliveries through 2020[31]
Boeing 777-300ER 20 6 52 258 316
Boeing 787-9 3 2 4 26 28 227 285 Deliveries through 2022
Comac ARJ21-700 35[32] TBA
Comac C919 20 TBA Launch customer.[33]
Total 552 157

China Eastern Airlines was the first Chinese airline to place an order with Airbus. The backbone of the fleet is the A320 series, which are used primarily on domestic flights.

In 2005, China Eastern Airlines placed an order for 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The airline subsequently cancelled its order owing to continuous delays, instead swapped the 787 order for Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft,[34]

On 18 October 2011, China Eastern Airlines placed an order for 15 Airbus A330s.[35][36]

On 27 April 2012, China Eastern Airlines ordered 20 Boeing 777-300ERs. The airline received its first 777-300ER aircraft on 26 September 2014.

In 2015 the airline acquired a further batch of 15 Airbus A330 aircraft for delivery in 2017 and 2018.[37]

In April 2016, China Eastern Airlines ordered 20 Airbus A350-900 and 15 Boeing 787-9 aircraft, with deliveries commencing in 2018.[38]

Fleet historyEdit

China Eastern Airlines has previously operated the following aircraft:

China Eastern Airlines Retired Fleet
Aircraft Introduced Retired Notes
Airbus A300-600R 1993 2015
Airbus A300-600RF 1993 2015
Airbus A310-200 1988 2006
Airbus A310-300 1988 1994
Airbus A340-300 1996 2012
Airbus A340-600 2003 2015
Boeing 737-200 2001 2005
Boeing 737-300 1998 2005
Boeing 767-300ER 2003 2011 Acquired from China Yunnan Airlines.
Bombardier CRJ-200ER 2004 2016
British Aerospace 146-100 1986 2009
British Aerospace 146-300 2003 2009
Embraer ERJ-145 2005 2016
Fokker 100 1992 1999
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 1991 2003
McDonnell Douglas MD-11F 1991 2003 Transferred to China Cargo Airlines
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 1988 2007
McDonnell Douglas MD-90 1997 2010
Xian MA-60 Unknown Unknown Acquired from Wuhan Airlines
Yakovlev Yak-42 Unknown Unknown Acquired from China General Aviation Corporation

Special liveries galleryEdit


China Eastern offers first class, business class, premium economy, and economy.

First class

China Eastern offers first class on all Boeing 777s. A first-class seat comes with a flat bed seat, direct aisle access and a sliding door. The plane also comes with a bar for passengers to serve themselves snacks and socialize with others. Middle seats on the Boeing 777 can be turned into a double bed.[39]

Super premium suites

The super premium suites are found on all A350-900 and B787-9 aircraft. The seats come with a sliding door and a minibar. The middle seats can be turned into a living room with seating for four.[40]

Business class

Business class comes in many different versions. On China Eastern’s narrow-body fleet, business class seats are recliners arranged in an 2-2 configuration. On select A330, business class seats are either Zodiac Cirrus or Thompson Vantage XL which is in a 1-2-1 configuration, or it could be angled flat beds arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration. On its A350 and B787, business class seats are modified Thompson Vantage XL with doors similar to Delta one suites.[41] On its B777, business class seats are Zodiac Cirrus.[39]

Premium economy

Premium economy is found on all Boeing B787 and Airbus A350 airplanes.[42]


China Eastern offers complimentary meal service and select A330s, all A350s, B777s, and B787s have seatback entertainment.[43]

Eastern MilesEdit

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 and China United Airlines, China Eastern subsidiaries, are also parts of the program. 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 Elite membership in three tiers: Platinum, Gold and Silver.[44]


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, commenced operations in 2011 from its base in Shanghai, China's largest air cargo market.[45] China Eastern Airlines signed a strategic cooperation 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 AirlinesEdit

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 accidentsEdit

  • On 15 August 1989, an Antonov An-24 operating a domestic flight from Shanghai to Nanchang crashed on takeoff due to an engine failure, killing 34 of 40 people on board.[46]
  • On 6 April 1993, China Eastern Airlines Flight 583, a McDonnell-Douglas MD-11 flying from Beijing to Los Angeles via Shanghai, 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, and 149 passengers and 7 crew members were injured. The aircraft landed safely at Shemya.
  • On 26 October 1993, China Eastern Flight 5398 from Shenzhen to Fuzhou, a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 crashed near Fuzhou airport after a failed attempt to go around on approach, killing two of 80 on board.
  • On 11 September 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.[47]
  • On 21 November 2004, China Eastern Airlines Flight 5210 from Baotou to Shanghai, a Bombardier CRJ200, 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 Dali, Kunming and Xishuangbanna Prefecture.[48]
  • On 7 June 2013, China Eastern Flight 2947, an Embraer EMB-145 flying from Huai'an Lianshui Airport to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport veered off of runway 18L at Hongqiao Airport during landing. The aircraft came to a stop on an adjacent taxiway with its nose gear collapsed. No passengers or crew suffered any injuries; however, the aircraft was substantially damaged.[49]
  • On 1 May 2016, China Eastern Flight 5443, an Airbus 319 flying from Chengdu to Kangding, had an aborted landing during bad weather at the high altitude airport. The aircraft hit the ground outside the runway and destroyed the approach lights, almost causing a serious crash, with damage to the tail, tires and landing gear. The aircraft safely returned to Chengdu. Two airline captains had their licences revoked and an assistant captain was suspended after it was found that the co-pilot was seated in the cabin while the assistant captain was in the cockpit. The high altitude airport requires two experienced captains to be at the controls.[50]
  • On 11 October 2016, two China Eastern Airlines aircraft were involved in a serious runway incursion incident at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. Flight 5643, an Airbus A320, was cleared for takeoff from runway 36L for a domestic flight to Tianjin. As it was accelerating down the runway, China Eastern Airlines Flight 5106, an Airbus A330-343 entered the active runway via taxiway B3. The aircraft had just landed on runway 36R after a flight from Beijing and had reportedly been cleared to taxi to the terminal. It left the runway via B3, crossed taxiway Bravo and entered the active departure runway via taxiway H3. This crossing is located 2110 meters from the threshold of runway 36L and 2400 meters from the point where the A320 began takeoff. The A320 was accelerating through 110 knots when the crew noted the A330 entering the runway. The crew selected TOGA thrust and continued their takeoff. The aircraft rotated at about 130 knots and climbed over the A330 with a separation of just 19 meters.[51]
  • On 11 June 2017, China Eastern flight Flight 736 was bound for Shanghai; the A330-200 plane's left Rolls Royce Trent 772 engine suffered an uncontained engine failure right after takeoff from Sydney Airport and landed back safely.[52]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "Form 20-F China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited". 2012. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  2. ^ "Exhibit B." p. 2. "2550 Hongqiao Road Hongqiao International Airport China Eastern Airlines Building" (Archive)
  3. ^ "China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd. (CEA)." Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
  4. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 3 April 2007. p. 64.
  5. ^ Cantle, Katie (23 June 2011). "China Eastern becomes 14th SkyTeam member". ATWOnline. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
  6. ^ Shanghai Daily[dead link]
  7. ^ "". 30 September 2007. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  8. ^ SIA approved to buy into China Eastern Flight Global, 31 August 2007
  9. ^ "SIA, China Eastern Airlines announce strategic tie-up". Channel NewsAsia. 2 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
  10. ^ "Singapore Airlines, Temasek sign China Eastern deal". Channel NewsAsia. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
  11. ^ "Cathay Pacific to try and block Singapore Airlines: report". Agence France-Presse. Channel NewsAsia. 22 September 2007. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 2007-09-22.
  12. ^ "BBC 中文网 - 服务专区 - 纯文字页". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  13. ^ Markets (24 September 2007). "Cathay Pacific abandons China Eastern plan". London: Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  14. ^ Dyer, Geoff (6 January 2008). "/ Companies / Transport - Air China pursues China Eastern stake". Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  15. ^ Anderlini, Jamil (8 January 2008). "Shareholders reject Singapore Air offer". Retrieved 2008-01-08.
  16. ^ "China Eastern Airlines announces detailed merger plan with Shanghai Airlines". 12 July 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  17. ^ "China Eastern Airlines and Qantas announce Jetstar Hong Kong". Jetstar Airways. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
  18. ^ "Qantas creates Jetstar Hong Kong". Sky News Australia. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
  19. ^ "China Eastern Airlines bags temporary permit - Civil Aeronautics Board :: Philippines". Retrieved 2013-07-05.
  20. ^ "China Eastern Airlines bags temporary permit | BusinessWorld Online". 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  21. ^ 东方航空正式发布全新VI体系 Archived September 12, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, China Eastern Airlines
  22. ^ "East-West Partnership". Airliner World: 15. October 2015.
  23. ^ Ltd. 2019, UBM (UK). "China Eastern Adds Chengdu / Nanjing – Los Angeles Service from late-June 2015". Routesonline. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Profile on China Eastern Airlines". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 2016-10-29. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  26. ^ "China Eastern Airlines Fleet Details and History". 11 March 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  27. ^ "机型展示 - 中国东方航空公司". Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  28. ^ Shih, Kai-Chin. "解读:东方航空购70架空客A320NEO飞机 总价63.7亿美元". ifeng. ifeng. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  29. ^ Bloomberg News (28 April 2016). "China Eastern to Buy 20 Airbus A350 Jets, 15 Boeing 787s". Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  30. ^ "Industry News / Opinions - Shanghai Airlines 787-9". Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  31. ^ Shih, Kai-Chin. "东方航空向波音购买80架B737系列飞机 总价约74亿美元". ifeng. ifeng. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  32. ^ "China's top airlines to buy ARJ21 jets from COMAC". Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  33. ^ "China Eastern To operate Comac C919 on Shanghai-Beijing Route". ATW Online.
  34. ^ "China Eastern abandons 787 order for 737s". Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  35. ^ "China Eastern orders 15 A330s, drops five A340s". 5 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  36. ^ "China Eastern orders 15 Airbus 330s". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  37. ^ "China Eastern Airlines". Airliner World: 17. October 2015.
  38. ^
  39. ^ a b "China Eastern Airlines First Class". Business Class Consolidator Blog. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  40. ^ "China Eastern Airbus A350 to fly Sydney-Shanghai from March 31". Australian Business Traveller. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  41. ^ "China Eastern Airbus A350 to fly Sydney-Shanghai from March 31". Australian Business Traveler. Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  42. ^ "China Eastern to introduce premium economy". TD. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  43. ^ "Touring China Eastern's New 777-300ER Products". Travel Codex. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  44. ^ "Welcome to Eastern Miles". Archived from the original on 2012-04-28. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  45. ^ Cantle, Katie (30 September 2010). "New China Eastern cargo carrier to launch Jan. 1 from Shanghai". Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  46. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Antonov 24RV B-3417 Shanghai-Hongqiao Airport". 15 August 1989. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  47. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas MD-11 B-2173 Shanghai-Hongqiao Airport (SHA)". 11 September 1998. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  48. ^ Aviation Week & Space Technology Vol. 169 No. 16, 27 October 2008, "Rerouted", p. 18
  49. ^ Accident: China Eastern E145 at Shanghai on Jun 7th 2013, runway excursion, nose gear collapse. The Aviation Herald. 7 June 2013.
  50. ^ "Flight captains punished after failed landing". Shenzhen Daily (10 May 2016). Shenzhen Daily. Shanghai Daily. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  51. ^ "Findings on airport near miss". Shanghai Daily (October 13, 2016). Shanghai Daily. Shanghai Daily. 2016-10-13. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  52. ^ Mavis Toh (12 June 2017). "China Eastern A330 lands safely with cowling damage". Flightglobal.

External linksEdit