Air China (中国国际航空公司 literally "Chinese International Aviation Company", abbreviated 国航) is the People's Republic of China's state owned and largest commercial airline (not to be confused with China Airlines, which is the Republic of China on Taiwan's state airline). It was setup in 1988 upon the sub-division of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to fly international routes although it also operated a few domestic sectors. Its main hub is Beijing Capital International Airport. Further deregulation of the aviation business took place in 1994, enabling foreign investment in airports and facilitating the import of aircraft built outside mainland China. By 1996 the country had 108 airports with scheduled airline services and around 30 different airlines.
Air China's fleet is predominantly sourced from Boeing although some airliners have been acquired from Airbus, including examples of the long range A340. Seven of the airline's Boeing 747 fleet are cargo-carrying aircraft. A couple of Lockheed Hercules aircraft superseded Antonov 12s in the freighter role. Four British Aerospace 146 "Whisperjet" passenger aircraft were returned to the United Kingdom during 2003 and are parked at Southend Airport in Essex. Since the reunification of Hong Kong with the mainland, competition from Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair Cargo on international routes has been allowed to continue.
The company's address is Air China international, Capital International Airport, Beijing 100621, China. Telephone +86 1 456 3220 Facsimile +86 1 456 3348
Its logo is a phoenix in the form of the abbreviation VIP.