Air China Limited ("Air China") and its predecessor, the former Air China, were founded in 1988. According to the "Civil Aviation System Reform Program" which was approved and passed by the State Department in October 2002, the former Air China consolidated with China National Aviation Company and China Southwest Airlines and founded China Aviation Group Company. Based on the combined air transportation resources of the three entities, the new Air China Company was established. On September 30th, 2004, approved by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), Air China Limited was officially launched in Beijing, operating air transport services as its primary business and controlled by the China Aviation Group. On December 15th, 2004, Air China successfully listed in Hong Kong (SEHK: 0753) and London (LSE: AIRC).
Air China’s logo consists of an artistic Phoenix pattern, the Chinese name of the airline written in calligraphy by former national leader Mr. Deng Xiaoping, and "AIR CHINA" written in English. The phoenix logo is also an artistic transfiguration of the word "VIP". The color is the traditional Chinese red which implies auspiciousness, completion, peace and happiness, and expresses Air China's sincere passion to serve society and endlessly pursue safety. Air China holds its vision and orientation as “a well-established global airline”, the connotation of which is to realize four strategic objectives: leading competitiveness in the world market, continuously enhanced development potential, excellent and distinguished travel experiences for passengers, and steadily increasing profits. Its enterprise spirit emphasizes "serving the world with a warm heart and guiding the future by innovation". Its enterprise mission is to "meet the requirements of customers and create mutual value". Its enterprise sense of worth is to "deliver a high level of service and earn universal approval from the public". Its service philosophy is "Credibility, Convenience, Comfort and Choice".
As of December 31, 2012, Air China (including its holding companies) owns 461 aircraft, featuring Boeing and Airbus, with an average age of 6.54 years. It operates 284 passenger routes, including 72 international routes, 15 regional routes and 197 domestic routes, covering 29 countries and regions, and 145 cities (45 international cities, 4 regions, and 96 domestic cities). In cooperation with Star Alliance member airlines, its service network is further extended to 1,329 destinations in 194 countries.
Air China is committed to providing passengers with the "Four Cs" service of Credibility, Convenience, Comfort and Choice. Air China’s frequent flyer program, PhoenixMiles, has the longest history of any frequent flyer program in China. Through the integration of its various memberships under Air China holding companies and joint-stock companies, all are unified as “PhoenixMiles”. By the end of 2012, the PhoenixMiles program had more than 19.97 million members. Air China is the first domestic civil airline to launch "Forbidden Pavilion" First Class and "Capital Pavilion" Business Class, the two-class elite services on medium-to-long distance flights featuring "lie-flat seats" and a "distinguished service throughout the journey" experience, which provides passengers with distinguished, comfortable and convenient travel space and considerate service. Air China adheres to customer-oriented service innovation, and has rolled out a series of new products including the “Global Flight Manager Program" and " Air China Unlimited". Air China enjoys a strong domestic and international connection capacity and sales network, owns an extensive high-quality client group and has become the first choice for many clients from Chinese governmental organizations and companies. On June 28, 2011, Air China was awarded the 4-star rating by SKYTRAX - the international authority for accrediting airline services. On June 12, 2012, Air China was granted the Fast Travel Gold Award at the 68th IATA Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit.
Air China has a team of pilots and flight attendants with excellent technical training, a precise work style and good service skills. Air China’s award-winning pilot team has received many prizes such as the "ICAO Medal of Honor", "National Safe Production Advanced Unit", and the "Pilot Example of Safe Flight". The team has created a world-class flight safety record: completing a successful polar flight, creating a miraculous 45-year safe flight record (starting from 1965) by mastering the tough Chengdu - Lhasa route, once regarded as a "restricted air zone" by the international civil aviation industry (a route that is recognized worldwide for its difficult flight conditions), and by performing successful night flights to Lhasa in 2008. Its cabin crew team demonstrates its internationalization with the addition of Japanese, Korean and German flight attendants who are professional and dedicated. They are the best friends to passengers in the blue sky. They consistently put forward the "Four Cs" service of Credibility, Convenience, Comfort and Choice. The quality of their service has been acclaimed by passengers.
Air China aircraft enjoy specialized and standardized technical support. Air China has set up an Engineering & Technology branch headquartered in Beijing, consisting of nine maintenance bases (in Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Hohhot, Shanghai, Guiyang, Wuhan, and Guangzhou), four affiliated enterprises, 100 domestic maintenance sites and 54 international maintenance sites, forming a maintenance network across China and overseas. Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Corporation (Ameco Beijing), China's first and largest aircraft maintenance joint venture aviation company, was established on May 2, 1989, animating the maintenance effort. Air China’s aircraft department has received maintenance licenses issued by CAAC, FAA, EASA and other agencies in 18 countries, covering 10 major hangars, advanced equipment and facilities. With their excellent maintenance strength, they have won Air China the approval and trust from more than 80 airlines around the world. Since the end of the 1980s, Air China’s aircraft department has achieved nearly 20 breakthroughs in domestic maintenance and more than 50 scientific and technological progress awards issued by national and provincial ministries.
Air China is promoting an integrated operation with robust control capacity. Air China flights around the world are under the control of the organizing and coordinating center. The computer flight planning system collects information from aircraft performance databases, the global navigation database, global airport databases, and high altitude weather databases, to optimize flight routes, develop flight plans, check aircraft performance, verify flight qualifications, and perform strict fight control checks before taking off. Air China has developed its own operation and management system, integrated with the satellite telephone system, air-ground data communication system and short-wave radio system, and has become the first domestic airline with remote monitoring capability.
Air China operates at the Beijing Capital International Airport, offering a variety of ground services including passengers' entry, departure and transit services, special passenger services, VIP services, two-class elite services ("Forbidden Pavilion" First Class and "Capital Pavilion" Business Class), passenger luggage services, aircraft load balancing service, flight departure system service, tarmac loading and unloading services, cabin cleaning services and special equipment maintenance. Air China is also the first domestic airline to offer self-service check-in and self-service baggage check-in, and the first airline to independently allocate part of their terminal area for a ground transportation support department. In addition, Air China has instituted the “center loading distribution” system in 100 domestic terminals, making it the first domestic airline using the "center loading distribution" work mode.
Air China values personnel training. Its pilot training center has world-class training facilities, training level and scale, combined with an excellent instructor team, rich teaching experience and first-class training equipment. Based in the Tianjin Binhai International Airport, the center applies the most advanced real-plane training with one Boeing 737-300 plane dedicated solely to pilot training. The center assumes the education and management of all newly employed Air China pilots. Its flight attendant training center is the first large-scale multi-function training base for flight attendants in China. The instructors in the center have the title of top grade flight attendants, IATA teaching qualifications and instructor qualifications approved by IATA CRM training. The center has trained more than 80,000 students for nearly 40 domestic and foreign airlines. It also has offered training services for many other sectors attracted by its superb training. Moreover, the University of Air China is under construction, which will be a large-scale modern training base providing academic education.
Air China’s management has improved significantly, with increasing profitability for seven consecutive years from 2001 through 2007, leading the civil aviation industry in China and bringing more value to the brand. From 2007 to 2012, Air China was listed among the "top 500 global brands” for six consecutive years, becoming the only Civil Aviation airline ever listed. In June 2012, Air China was rated 24th among China's 500 most valuable brands by the World Brand Laboratory, and the first in the domestic aviation service sector. From 2004 to 2008, Air China consecutively earned the "Customer Satisfaction Award" and the "Customer Satisfaction Gold Award", among others, based on "Passengers Opinions about Civil Aviation". The Air China brand has been jointly recognized as one of "China's Top Ten International Brands" by the Financial Times of Great Britain and McKinsey Management Consulting Company from the U.S. It has been named among the "Top 25 Exemplary Brands of China -- Brand China Huapu Annual Award" by Brand China. In December, 2012, Air China earned the "Chinese Brand Annual Award No.1 Air Service Sector" for the seventh consecutive year, coupled with a special "Chinese Culture Brand Award". In addition, Air China was named in various ranking lists as "Best Chinese Airline", "Airline of the Year", "Pathfinder Award", "Best Corporate Image Award" and "Top Ten Chinese Economic Leaders", among others.
Air China actively engages in social responsibilities, and always recognizes public responsibility as an integral part of its operation. Through its own sustainable development, Air China creates stable tax revenues and job opportunities for the country, actively participates in social practices and disaster relief, and makes great contributions to society. Air China's leadership has been awarded "Great Example of Building 'Team of Four Highlights' in National State-owned Enterprises" by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee and SAC Party Committee. Air China, together with the China Children and Teenagers’ Fund, co-sponsored the establishment of the "Children's Insurance Special Fund" to promote the healthy growth of children and adolescents in China. Air China accomplished the task with excellence to serve and support the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, setting many new records in Chinese civil aviation history. On September 29, 2008, the Party Central Committee and the State Council held a grand rally at the Great Hall to conclude the Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and gave out awards. Air China was honored as the "Advanced Unit in Beijing Olympics and Paralympics". During a variety of major natural disasters at home and abroad, as well as emergency transport missions, Air China organizes immediate transportation and performs its responsibility as a state-owned business regardless of the costs involved. From combatting the SARS outbreak in 2003 and helping in the 2008 snow disaster, to assisting in the Wenchuan, Yushu earthquake relief efforts in 2008 and 2009 as well as providing for assistance in the Haiti earthquake relief efforts in 2010, the 2011 Japan tsunami disaster and the emergency evacuation of Chinese personnel from Libya, Air China has always demonstrated its strong brand image as a government controlled enterprise.