China United Airlines

China United Airlines
China United Airlines
Founded 1986
Hubs Beijing Nanyuan Airport
Fleet size 14
Destinations 17
Parent company Shanghai Airlines
Headquarters Beijing, China

China United Airlines Co., Ltd. is an airline based in Beijing, People's Republic of China, operating scheduled flights and charter services in co-operation with local enterprises out of Beijing Nanyuan Airport, making it the only commercial airline using this airport.[1]


History and Development

China United Airlines Boeing 737-800

China United Airlines was established in 1986 as an arm of the civil transport division of the People's Liberation Army. In November 2002, all scheduled services were ceased, followed by a full suspension of flight operations in 2003 due to a Chinese governmental regulation prohibiting the Army from being directly involved in commercial activities. On June 4, 2005, the Civil Aviation Administration of China the relaunch of the airline, now with Shanghai Airlines holding 80 percent of the stake, as well as CASGC as a secondary shareholder. Even though the China United Airline has since then lost its military status, it is still allowed to use military airports, in contrast to other Chinese airlines.

Criticism to the United States

In 2000, China United Airlines spent 120 million to buy a Boeing 767-300ER as Jiang Zemin's private jet. Several days before its first flight, a covert listening device was discovered, which was installed on toilet, corridor, and even in Jiang's headboard. The listening device was monitored by satellite. CIA, American embassy in China, and China United Airlines refuse to comment on this incident.[2]

Criticism in the United States

In 2002, it became known that former US President George H. W. Bush had authorized the sale of Boeing aircraft to China United Airlines. As the airline at that time was part of the People's Liberation Army, the US-made aircraft also went into the army stock. It was reported that they were used for troop transport during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. The Chinese in turn accused former US President Bill Clinton of having approved the sale of a former Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-300, which was planned to become the private airplane of then President of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin, until hidden American covert listening devices were found.[3]



As of November 2011, the China United Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 11.6 years:[4]

China United Airlines fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers
Boeing 737-700
Boeing 737-800
144 (8/156)
Tupolev Tu-154M


  1. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International: p. 65. 2007-04-03. 
  2. ^ 江泽民专机疑被装窃听器
  3. ^ Criticism on China United Airlines at
  4. ^ China United Airlines fleet list at

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