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.
Current headquarters at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, shared with Shanghai 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, SSE: 600115 SEHK: 0670 NYSE: CEA) 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 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 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.
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.
On September 9, 2014, China Eastern was introduced the new logo and new livery.
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.
Main article: China Eastern Airlines destinations
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 22 November China Eastern Airlines started 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. On 9 August 2011, China Eastern started services to Honolulu from Shanghai, which marked the first ever direct service between mainland China and Hawaii.
Countries with destinations of China Eastern Airlines (including seasonal and future destinations).
China Eastern Airlines Destinations
As of January 2013, beside SkyTeam members, China Eastern Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:
A China Eastern Airlines Airbus A330-300 shortly after departing Sheremetyevo Airport in 2011.
China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-700
China Eastern Airlines Boeing 777-300ER in new livery
China Eastern Airlines Airbus A340-600 in SkyTeam livery
China Eastern Airlines was the first Chinese carrier 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 ordering Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft. On 18 October 2011, China Eastern Airlines placed an order for 15 Airbus A330.
On 27 April 2012, China Eastern Airlines ordered 20 Boeing 777-300ERs from Boeing pending government approval. Some of these aircraft will replace its fleet of five Airbus A340-600s, which will be phased out by 2015. The airline received its first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on 26 September 2014.
As of February 2015, China Eastern Airlines's fleet includes the following aircraft