China Eastern Airlines
|Founded||25 June 1988|
|Frequent-flyer program||Eastern Miles|
|Company slogan||World-Class Hospitality with Eastern Charm (世界品位，东方魅力)|
|Headquarters||Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
|Revenue||CN¥85.25 billion (2012)|
|Operating income||CN¥4.228 billion (2012)|
|Net income||CN¥2.808 billion (2012)|
|Total assets||CN¥123.82 billion (2012)|
|Total equity||CN¥22.93 billion (2012)|
|Employees||80,000 (March, 2016)|
|China Eastern Airlines|
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) is an airline headquartered in the China Eastern Airlines Building, on the grounds of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Changning District, Shanghai, China. 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, with secondary hubs at Beijing Capital International Airport, Kunming Changshui International Airport and Xi'an Xianyang International Airport.
China Eastern Airlines is China's second-largest carrier by passenger numbers. China Eastern and its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines became the 14th member of SkyTeam on 21 June 2011. The parent company of China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited (SSE: 600115 SEHK: 0670 NYSE: CEA) is the China Eastern Airlines Group, a state-owned enterprise that was supervised by State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.
History and development
China Eastern Airlines was established on 25 June 1988 under the CAAC Huadong Administration. In 1997, China Eastern took over 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. 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 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.
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. 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. 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. However, on 24 September Cathay Pacific announced that it had abandoned these plans.
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. 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.
On 11 June 2009 it was announced that China Eastern Airlines would merge with Shanghai Airlines. 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. 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. 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.
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.
The airline announced a 25% fall in earnings for 2014 from their net profit of 2.38bn Chinese Yuan in 2013. It commented that tougher competition from low-cost airlines and a newly launched high-speed rail network is affecting profitability.
On September 9, 2014, China Eastern was introduced the new logo and new livery. In 2014, China Eastern Airlines carried 83.08 million domestic and international passengers with an average load factor of 73%.
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.
- Aeroflot (SkyTeam)
- Air France (SkyTeam)
- Alitalia (SkyTeam)
- British Airways (Oneworld)
- China Airlines (SkyTeam)
- China Southern Airlines (SkyTeam)
- China United Airlines
- Delta Air Lines (SkyTeam)
- Etihad Airways
- Garuda Indonesia (SkyTeam)
- Hong Kong Airlines
- Japan Airlines (Oneworld)
- Jet Airways
- Joy Air
- Juneyao Airlines
- Kenya Airways (SkyTeam)
- KLM (SkyTeam)
- Korean Air (SkyTeam)
- Mandarin Airlines
- Qantas (Oneworld)
- Royal Brunei Airlines
- Shanghai Airlines (SkyTeam)
- Sichuan Airlines
- Vietnam Airlines (SkyTeam)
- Virgin America
- XiamenAir (SkyTeam)
|Airbus A320-200||168||55||—||8||150||158||Deliveries until 2017|
|Airbus A330-300||15||—||—||24||268||292||To be phased out|
|Airbus A350-900||—||20||TBA||Order placed 2016 for delivery between 2018 and 2022|
|Boeing 777-300ER||18||2||6||52||258||316||First aircraft delivered on 26 September 2014|
|Boeing 787-9||—||15||TBA||Ordered 2016 for delivery between 2018 and 2021|
In 2005, China Eastern Airlines placed an order for 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The airline subsequently cancelled its order owing to continuous delays, instead ordering Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft, but placed another order in 2016, for 787-9s. On 18 October 2011, China Eastern Airlines placed an order for 15 Airbus A330s.
On 27 April 2012, China Eastern Airlines ordered 20 Boeing 777-300ERs pending government approval. The airline received its first 777-300ER aircraft on 26 September 2014.
In 2015 the airline announced plans to acquire a further 15 Airbus A330 aircraft for delivery in 2017 and 2018.
China Eastern Airlines has previously operated the following aircraft:
|Airbus A300-600R||10||1993||2015||Disposed to Uni-Top Airlines|
|Airbus A300-600RF||10||1993||2015||Disposed to MNG Airlines|
|Airbus A340-300||5||1996||2012||Four aircraft are currently stored|
|Boeing 737-300||26||1998||2005||Four aircraft are currently stored|
|Boeing 767-300ER||3||2003||2011||Bought from British Airways as second-hand aircraft; disposed to MIAT Mongolian Airlines and Orient Thai Airlines|
|Bombardier CRJ-200ER||5||2004||2016||Four aircraft are currently stored|
|British Aerospace BAe-146-100||6||1986||2009||Two aircraft are currently stored|
|British Aerospace BAe-146-300||7||2003||2009||Four aircraft are currently stored|
|Embraer ERJ-145||10||2005||2016||One aircraft is currently stored
Most are disposed to Airbus
|Fokker 100||10||1992||1999||Disposed to TAM Airlines|
|McDonnell Douglas MD-11||6||1991||2003||After retired, all fleets were converted into freighter|
|McDonnell Douglas MD-11F||6||1991||2003||Transferred to China Cargo Airlines|
|McDonnell Douglas MD-82||16||1988||2007|
|McDonnell Douglas MD-90||9||1997||2010||Disposed to Delta Air Lines|
Special liveries gallery
Airbus A330-343 in 2011 Xi'an International Horticultural Expo Livery
Airbus A330-343 in EXPO Shanghai 2010 Livery
Boeing 737-800 in special livery for promotion of tourism in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture
China Eastern Yunnan Airlines Boeing 737-800 in Purple Peacock Livery
Airbus A330-343 in People's Daily Online Livery
Airbus A330-343 in Xinhua News Livery
Airbus A330-343 in Shanghai Disney Resort Livery
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's subsidiary, are also parts 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 Elite. Elite membership of Eastern Miles can be divided into three tiers: Platinum Card membership, Gold Card membership and Silver Card membership. Elite membership can enjoy extra privileged services.
|Platinum (Elite Plus)||
160,000 Points or 90 qualifying flights within 12 months
|Gold (Elite Plus)||
80,000 Points or 40 qualifying flights within 12 months
40,000 Points or 25 qualifying flights within 12 months
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. China Eastern Airlines signed a strategic cccooperation frameworkagreement 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 15 August 1989, an Antonov An-24 operating a flight from Shanghai to Nanchang crashed on takeoff due to an engine failure, killing 34 of 40 people on board.
- 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.
- On 21 November 2004, China Eastern Airlines Flight 5210 from Baotou to Shanghai, a Bombardier CRJ200 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 Dali, Kunming and Xishuangbanna Prefecture.
- 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 plane came to a stop on an adjacent taxiway with its nose gear collapsed. No passengers or crew suffered any injuries; however, the plane received substantial damage.
- 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.
- On 11 October 2016, China Eastern Airlines Flight 5643, an Airbus A320, was involved in a serious runway incursion incident during takeoff from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. The aircraft 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 commenced 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.
- On 11 June 2017, on China Eastern flight MU736 bound for Shanghai, an 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.
In popular culture
- A movie named "Crash 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 recognisable.
- China Eastern Airlines appears frequently on the Japanese air traffic control video game Air Traffic Controller.
- Civil aviation in China
- List of airlines of the People's Republic of China
- List of airports in China
- List of companies of the People's Republic of China
- Transport in China
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- Aviation Week & Space Technology Vol. 169 No. 16, 27 October 2008, "Rerouted", p. 18
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Media related to China Eastern Airlines at Wikimedia Commons