Air China Limited is the flag carrier and one of the major airlines of the People’s Republic of China. Air China’s flight operations are based out of Beijing Capital International Airport. The airline ranked behind its main competitors China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines in terms of total passengers carried. Air China is a member of the Star Alliance.
Air China was established in 1988 as a result of the Chinese government’s late 1987 decision to split the operating divisions of Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) into six separate airlines: Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, China Northern, China Southwest and China Northwest. In 2001, the former CAAC’s ten airlines announced they had agreed on a merger plan, according to which Air China was to acquire China Southwest Airlines. In 2010, Air China became the controlling shareholder of Shenzhen Airlines.