When CAAC broke itself up into six major airline corporations, China Northwest was one of them. The airline was based in Xian. It operated mostly domestic routes but also a handful of international flights to Japan. After the acquisition the airline was renamed China Eastern Xi Bei.
On June 6, 1994 Flight 2303 broke apart and crashed while flying between Xi'an and Guangzhou, killing all 160 people on board. As of 2017, this remains the deadliest aviation accident to occur in mainland China.