The airline began flying on 1 June 2009 with a fleet of 3 MA-60 turboprops. This airline focuses on the northwestern part of China. The airline was testing its aircraft until the end of 2009 when it commenced passenger service with 4 MA-60 turboprops. The company is mainly owned by China Eastern Airlines, with the remaining owned by AVIC Group. China Eastern is planning to sell most of its shares in order to generate money for the company. Joy Air is expected to own 50 ACAC ARJ 21 and 50 MA-60 in 8 years.
Joy Air and Okay Airways were announced as launch customers for the Xian MA700 aircraft and are to be involved with the development of the aircraft, which is due to make its maiden flight in 2017.