Air China - China's Most International Airline Group

27 September 2018 / by Deirdre Fulton

With 18% of all capacity to and from points beyond China’s border, the Air China Group is China’s most international airline group.

Air China Group capacity is growing at a similar rate to its peers, adding 9.3m seats in the last 12 months to June 2018 but the network is smaller as the Group operates to fewer destinations than the other Chinese airline groups.  Growth rates for domestic and international capacity are similar, at 8% and 7% respectively. 

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser July 2017-June 2018

There is very little overlap between Air China and Shenzhen Airlines international route networks. Beijing serves as the primary base for Air China’s international operations, especially long haul services, whilst Shenzhen Airlines operates from its hub at Shenzhen Airport to destinations in Asia.  Air Macau operates international services within Asia. Air China operates to 20 destinations across Europe and 10 across North America.

International Route Networks for Air China Group Airlines


Source: Mapper

The focus of Air China’s domestic operations is the Beijing hub, although it does have a secondary hub at Shanghai. There is little overlap with Shenzhen Airlines network which operates out of its southern base at Shenzhen.

Domestic Route Networks for Air China Group Airlines


Source: Mapper

The group had scheduled capacity of 129 million seats in the 12 months to June 2018. Beijing has the largest group capacity, followed by Shenzhen Airport and then Chengdu and Guangzhou.


Air China’s primary airports are Beijing and then Chengdu with much smaller operations from the other 8 airports.


Source: OAG Schedules Analyser July 2017-June 2018

The new Beijing Airport will free up some much needed capacity for Air China to expand from Beijing and their current order for 13 long haul aircraft looks set to facilitate this expansion. 


Now take a closer look at the series of blog articles dedicated to the China Airline families:

Part 1:  Inside China's Airline Families – Eyeing Up The Neighbours

Topics: Inside China's Airline Families

Deirdre Fulton

Written by Deirdre Fulton

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