Mandarin Airlines, is an airline based in Taipei, Taiwan. The airline is China Airlines‘ regional and domestic subsidiary. It also operates charter services. Its main base is Taichung Airport.
Mandarin Airlines was established in 1991. Mandarin’s establishment had much to do with the political status of Taiwan. At the time, Mandarin Airlines’ parent company, China Airlines, still carried the national flag of the Republic of China. Because of this, the People’s Republic of China used its influence to block any country that it had formal diplomatic relationship with from allowing China Airlines to establish routes to it. However, PRC objected less to ROC airlines that did not carry the national flag from flying international routes, thus Mandarin Airlines was established to take advantage of this. The China Trust Group pulled its investment in Mandarin Airlines in 1992, turning the airline into a company virtually wholly owned by China Airlines. Also, Mandarin Airlines’ role was changed to be a primary domestic and short-range intra-regional airline, after parent China Airlines was able to re-establish its emphasis on international routes, due a new livery that did not include the national flag. In 1999, China Airlines formally merged its subsidiary, Mandarin Airlines, with Formosa Airlines under the Mandarin name. Mandarin took over Formosa’s domestic operations and aircraft while Mandarin’s fleet and most of its international flights were transferred to China Airlines.