The "who owns what airlines in China" list

Old Mar 31, 11, 9:09 pm
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The "who owns what airlines in China" list

The 5 main airlines groups plus a grouping of independents are the top level.
* Denotes the main subsidiary
- Denotes airlines owned by a subsidiary (i.e. not majority owned directly by the main airline company)
[xxx] Denotes airlines that were 100% merged and the approximate date they ceased operations

Note, some airlines in China are "paper airlines" meaning that they have unique livery and name but is operated by parent airlines for political purposes and exists only to satisfy the requirements of provincial or city Government that invested in the airline. For example Chongqing Airlines exists with its own livery with outward appearance of a fully fledged airlines. But it is really just an "airline within an airline" for China Southern, which is the majority owner and crews and operates all its flights from China Southern's Chongqing hub; China Southern flights from Chongqing maybe operated by Chongqing Airlines planes and vice versa - the scheduling of the sub-fleet is not distinct from the parent airline. The municipal Government of Chongqing is a minority owner of the airline. Most of the airlines under the Hainan Group also falls under this "paper airline" category.

For simplicity sake, I'm showing the relationships in operational reality as oppose to actual shareholdings. Most of the small airlines have cross holdings ownerships between provincial governments, the parent airline group, and some other airlines (sometimes from another group) - e.g CNAC owns part of CX etc.


Air China 中国国际航空 (CA) - Star Alliance

* Shenzhen Airlines 深圳航空 (ZH) (Full Star Alliance membership)
- [Jade Cargo International 翡翠国际货运航空 (JI) suspended operation in 2012, was a joint venture with LH which owned 49%]
- [Henan Airlines 河南航空 (VD) (formerly Kunpeng Airlines 鲲鹏航空)] ended operation in 2010
- Kunming Airlines 昆明航空 (KY)
* Shandong Airlines 山东航空 (SC)
* Tibet Airlines 西藏航空 (TV)
* Air China Cargo 中国国际货运航空 (CA)
* Air Macau 澳門航空 (NX) (majority owned by CNAC, which is the holding company that owns CA)

* Dalian Airlines 大连航空 (CA) (exists in name only, entire fleet is CA wetlease)
* Beijing Airlines 北京航空 (CA) (not active)

[China Southwest Airlines 中国西南航空 (SZ) merged with CA in 2002] (this gave CA its CTU hub)
[Zhejiang Airlines 浙江航空 disbanded by CNAC in 2004] (this gave CA its SHA hub)

~~~~~

China Southern Airlines 中国南方航空 (CZ) - SkyTeam

* Xiamen Airlines 厦门航空 (MF) (Full SkyTeam membership)
- Hebei Airlines 河北航空 (NS)
- Jangxi Air 江西航空 (RY)
* Chongqing Airlines 重庆航空 (OQ) (this is the basis of CZ's CKG hub)

* Sichuan Airlines 四川航空 (3U) 40% owned by CZ / 10% owned MU / 10% owned by SC
- Chengdu Airlines 成都航空 (EU) (formerly United Eagle Airlines/UEAir 联鹰航空)
- [Northwest Airlines 东北航空 (NS) operated at 3U's regional affiliate in Shenyang SHE, shut down in 2009 sold to MF, which reorganized it as Hebei Airlines]

* Guizhou Airlines 貴州航空 (G4) (has IATA code but entire fleet is CZ wetlease)
* Shantou Airlines 汕头航空 (CZ) (exists in name only, doesn't have its own fleet)
* Zhuhai Airlines 珠海航空 (CZ) (exists in name only, doesn't have its own fleet)


[China Northern Airlines 中国北方航空 (CJ) merged with CZ in 2003]
[China Xinjiang Airlines 中国新疆航空 (XO) merged with CZ in 2003] (this gave CZ its URC hub)
[Zhongyuan Airlines 中原航空 (Z2) disbanded by CZ in 2000]

~~~~~

China Eastern Airlines 中国东方航空 (MU) - SkyTeam

* Shanghai Airlines 上海航空 (FM) (SkyTeam Affiliate)
- China United Airlines 中国联合航空 (KN) - operates as a LCC out of Beijing NAY now
- [Shanghai Airlines Cargo 上海货运航空 (F4) merged with CK in 2011] former joint venture between FM and BR (Eva Air, Taiwan) which owned 49%
* China Cargo Airlines 中国货运航空 (CK)
- [Great Wall Airlines 长城航空 (IJ) (cargo) merged with CK in 2011] was a joint venture with SQ which owned 49%
* Joy Air 幸福航空 (JR) - operates regional flights out of Xian XIY

* JetStar Hong Kong 捷星香港航空 (JM) note: this airline has not received regulatory approval for service as of January 2014

[China General Aviation 中国通用航空 (GP) disbanded by MU 1997]
[Air Great Wall 长城航空 (G8) merged with MU in 2001]
[China Northwest Airlines 中国西北航空 (WH) merged with MU in 2002]
[China Yunnan Airlines 中国云南航空 (3Q) merged with MU in 2003]
[Wuhan Airlines 武汉航空 (WU) merged with MU in 2003]

~~~~~

Hainan Airlines 海南航空 (HU)

* Grand China Air 大新华航空 (CN) - This was originally the designated airline to operate HU's international long haul routes but it never happened... current active as holding company but it doesn't have flight operations
- [China Xinhua Airlines 中国新华航空 (XW) started using the HU code around 2010~11?]
- [Chang'an Airlines 长安航空 (2Z) started using the HU code around 2010~11?]
- [Shanxi Airlines 山西航空 (8C) disbanded by Grand China Air in 2009]
* Tianjin Airlines 天津航空 (GS) (formerly Grand China Express Air 大新华快运航空)
- Guangxi Beibu Gulf Airlines 广西北部湾航空 (GX)
* Beijing Capital Airlines 首都航空 (JD) (formerly as Deer Air 金鹿航空)
- Air Guillin 桂林航空 (GT)
* Air Chang'an 长安航空 (9H) 2nd iteration of Chang'an name on a HU-controled airline. Not be confused with Chang'an Airlines (2Z) that was disbanded. Different English name but same Chinese titles.

* Fuzhou Airlines 福州航空 (FU)

* Suparna Airlines 金鹏航空 formerly Yangtze River Express 扬子江快运航空 (Y8) former joint venture between HU and CI (China Airlines, Taiwan) which owned 49% of Yangtze Reiver Express. Renamed Suparna in 2017 after CI sold its share to HU

* Hong Kong Airlines 香港航空 (HX)

* Lucky Air 祥鹏航空 (8L) -operate as LCC out of Kunming KMG

* West Air 西部航空 (PN) - operates as LCC out of Chongqing CKG

* Urumqi Air 烏魯木齊航空 (UQ) - operates as LCC out of Urumqi URC

* Hong Kong Express Airways 香港快運 (UO) - operates as LCC out of HKG


* Aigle Azur (ZI) - based in France
* Africa World Airlines (AW) - based in Ghana
* MyCargo Airlines (9T) - based in Turkey


~~~~~

Cathay Pacific Airways 國泰航空 (CX) - OneWorld

*Cathay Dragon 國泰港龍航空 (KA) formerly Dragonair 港龍航空 (OneWorld Affiliate)
* Air Hong Kong 香港華民航空 (LD) (cargo)

~~~~~

Independents - Passenger

Juneyao Airlines 吉祥航空 (HO)
* 9 Air 九元航空 (AQ) - HO's LCC airline

Okay Airways 奥凯航空 (BK)
Spring Airlines 春秋航空 (9C) - operates as LCC out of SHA and PVG
Loong Airlines 浙江长龙航空 (GJ)
Sky Legend 新龙航空 (formerly Qingdao Airlines 青岛航空) (QW) (was partially owned Shandong Airlines and Qingdao municipal govt, but the Govt shareholders "terminated" its ownership in 2015 so it is now a privately owned airline. This also lead to the name change)
Ruili Airlines 瑞丽航空 (DR)
China Express Airlines 华夏航空 (G5) regional airline based in Chongqing CKG
Donghai Airlines 东海航空 (DZ) passenger operation uses the DZ code, cargo operation uses the J5 code
Longjiang Airlines 龙江航空 (LT) regional airline based in Harbin HRB
Hongtu Airlines 红土航空 (A6) regional airline based in Kunming KMG
Colorful Guizhou Airlines 多彩贵州航空 (GY) regional airline based in Guiyang KWE


[Viva Macau 非凡航空 (ZG) - suspended operations in 2010]
[East Star Airlines 東星航空 (8C) - suspended operations in 2009]
[Oasis Hong Kong Airlines 甘泉香港航空 (O8) - suspended operations in 2008]


Independents - Cargo

Donghai Airlines 东海航空 (J5) passenger operation uses the DZ code, cargo operation uses the J5 code
SF Airlines 顺丰航空 (O3)
China Postal Airlines 中国邮政航空 (CF) - formerly 51% owned by CZ but now fully owned by China Postal Service
Uni-Top Airlines 友和道通航空 (UW)
YTO Airlines 杭州圆通货运航空 (YG)

[Grandstar Cargo 银河国际货运航空 (GD) - suspended operations in 2012, assets purchased by Uni-Top in 2014, was a joint venture with KE which owned 49%]

Last edited by bzcat; Jan 8, 19 at 9:46 pm
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Old Apr 1, 11, 12:37 am
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nice summary, but you left out one of the biggest issues of all, CA/CX cross holdings.
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Old Apr 1, 11, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
nice summary, but you left out one of the biggest issues of all, CA/CX cross holdings.
CNAC owns both but CA itself doesn't own any CX shares (at least that is my understanding). I mentioned that this list is based on operational reality and not so much strictly about shareholdings. CA certainly has no control over CX operations. They are friendly competitors with a common shareholder.
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Old Jan 24, 14, 7:40 pm
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The info is updated as of January 2014 to reflect changes since the original version was complied in 2011.

Last edited by bzcat; Jan 24, 14 at 7:50 pm
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Old Jan 25, 14, 10:00 am
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Shenzeng should be Shenzhen Airlines. Thanks.
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