Today’s Air China can trace its origins to 1988 when Air China International Corporation was established. In October 2002, based on an industry reform plan formulated by the central government, Air China International Corporation, China Aviation Corporation and China Southwest Airlines merged, and the surviving company was still called Air China International Corporation. In September 30, 2004, Air China International Corporation was rebranded as Air China Limited. In December 2004 Air China Limited became a publicly traded company on Hong Kong Stock Exchange (SEHK: 0753) and London Stock Exchange (LSE: AIRC).
The corporate logo of Air China depicts phoenix, a legendary bird worshiped by the nation since ancient times as a symbol of luck and happiness. Chinese ancient literature contains constant references to the bird which “flies from the eastern Happy Land over mountains and seas and bestows luck and happiness upon all parts of the world.” With imagination stretched a bit, the way the logo is laid out recalls the English word “VIP”. The deep red color is used since it’s associated with anything happy and lucky in Chinese culture. The message conveyed by the whole design is that Air China commits itself to promoting the development of the country’s airline industry and offering pleasant travel experiences to passengers. For them, phoenix symbolizes a spirit. At the core of the “Phoenix Spirit” is the will to “serve the world, to lead and move forward to higher goals.” Their vision is to become “A leading carrier in the world”. Their mission stresses “operational safety, customer orientation, steady growth, people development and fulfillment of responsibilities”. These values remind them that they should “use a people-oriented approach to their business, take on social responsibilities, have the will to succeed and enjoy flying”. Their brand positioning is to be “a professional, trusted, internationally respected Chinese brand closely associated with China”. The design also features the calligraphic version of Air China’s Chinese name, a reproduction of the handwriting by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China’s drastic social and economic transformation who laid the foundation for the country’s economic power.
Air China is China’s only national flag carrier and a member carrier of the world’s largest airline network - Star Alliance. It was also the airline partner of the Olympics Beijing 2008. It is a Chinese carrier with the highest brand value in China’s airline industry – according to the evaluation done by the World Brand Lab in June 2016, their brand value reached RMB 115.689 billion. They are in a leading position in China in terms of passenger transportation, cargo transportation and related services.
Air China is the only designated carrier that also offers special flights for Chinese leaders on their official visit to other countries and foreign leaders traveling within China, which is another piece of convincing evidence of their exclusive status as China’s only national flag carrier. Headquartered in Beijing, Air China has a number of offshoots in different regions of the country including southwest China, Zhejiang, Chongqing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hubei, Guizhou, Tibet, Wenzhou and also has some regional operational bases like South China Base and East China Base. The companies which they have a majority stake in include Air China Cargo, Air Macao, Shenzhen Airlines, Dalian Airlines, Beijing Airlines, Inner Mongolia Airlines, Air China Import & Export, Chengdu Falcon Aircraft Engineering Services and Air China Shantou Air Supplies. They also have some joint ventures created based on their partnerships with other companies, including Aircraft Maintenance & Engineering Corporation of Beijing (AMECO) and Sichuan International Aircraft Engines Repair. In addition, they also have interests in Cathay Pacific Airways and Shandong Airlines. They are the largest shareholder of Shandong Airlines. Beijing Air Catering Co., Ltd, of which Air China was once the controlling shareholder and which now is under the control of China National Aviation Corporation Limited, was established in 1980 and is the first Sino-foreign joint venture created after the “Law of the People's Republic of China on Sino-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures” was released.
Where is Air China Ltd.