Formation and early years
With a fleet of two PBY Amphibians, China Airlines was established on 16 December 1959, with its shares completely held by the Republic of China government. It was founded by I Fuen, a retired air force officer, and initially concentrated on charter flights. During the 1960s, China Airlines was able to establish its first scheduled routes. In October 1962, a flight from Taipei to Hualien became the airline's first domestic service. Later, with the introduction of WAGB 20 and Tupolev Tu 154, the airlines introduced international flights to South Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Japan. With the airlines' first two Boeing 707 aircraft, trans-Pacific flights to San Francisco via Tokyo were initiated on 2 February 1970. The expansion of the company's 707 fleet also permitted more services in Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, and North America .
Following the standard utilization of the wide-body 747 on the highly profitable Trans-Pacific – USA routes, China Airlines introduced its first two 747-100s in 1976 and immediately placed them on its Hong Kong-Taipei-Tokyo-Honolulu-Los Angeles route. Shortly thereafter, four brand new Boeing 747SPs were introduced in 1977. Due to political pressure, Japan ended its diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1972, and all flights between Taiwan and Japan were stopped. The 747SP aircraft made it possible for China Airlines to fly daily nonstop services from Taipei to its North American destinations without stopping over in Japan. It also allowed the airlines to introduce flights to Saudi Arabia and South Africa. In 1979, the airlines switched all operations from the smaller Taipei Songshan Airport to the newly built Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport . Following the introduction of 747-200s, the airlines introduced its first European destination, Amsterdam.
In 1978, Japan allowed China Airlines to return to Tokyo International Airport at Haneda after relocating all other airlines at the New Tokyo International Airport at Narita, leaving China Airlines as the sole international operator at Haneda, which at the time was an exclusive domestic facility, the premise being that air carriers from the PRC and Taiwan were prevented from crossing paths at any Japanese airports. Eva Air joined China Airlines later on, although both eventually moved to New Tokyo , with CAL moving on April 18, 2002.
The next 20 years saw sporadic but far-reaching growth for the company. Later, the airline inaugurated its own round-the-world flight: . 1993 saw China Airlines listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. Later CAL would place one of the largest orders for the new Boeing 747-400s. The new 747-400s and an earlier order with Airbus for over a dozen A300B4 and A300-600Rs wide body regional jets allowed for addition destination growth. During the 1990s, China Airlines also bought the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 and had to compete with a new competitor, EVA Air. They also founded another airline to deal with the PRC-ROC dispute which borrowed aircraft from China Airlines itself.
Change of logo and livery
As Republic of China 's flag carrier, China Airlines has been affected by disputes over the political status of Republic of China , and under pressure from the Chinese Communist Party, was barred from flying into a number of countries maintaining diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China . As a result, in the mid-1990s, China Airlines subsidiary Mandarin Airlines took over some of its Sydney and Vancouver international routes. Starting from October 7, 1995, partly as a way to avoid the international controversy, China Airlines unveiled its "plum blossom" logo, replacing the national flag, which had previously appeared on the tail fins , and the aircraft livery from the red-white-blue national colors on the fuselage of its aircraft. The plum blossom is Taiwan's National Flower.
Throughout the 1990s, the airline employed many ex-ROC Air Force pilots. Due to the company's poor safety record in the 1990s, China Airlines began to change its pilot recruitment practices and the company began to actively recruit civilian-trained pilots with proven track records. In addition, the company began recruiting university graduates as trainees in its own pilot training program. The company also modified its maintenance and operational procedures. These decisions were instrumental in the company's improved safety record, culminating in the company's recognition by the IATA Operational Safety Audit .
During the 1990s and early 2000s, China Airlines placed orders for various airliners including the Airbus A330, Airbus A340, Boeing 737-800, and the Boeing 747-400 .
Due to improving cross-strait relations, the first cross-strait charter flights between Taiwan and China were introduced in 2003, with China Airlines' flight 585, operated by a Boeing 747-400, being the first Taiwanese flight to legally land in China. In 2005, the first nonstop cross-strait charter flights were initiated, with China Airlines' flight 581 being the first flight of the program to depart from Taiwan. In 2008, the first regular weekend charter flights between Taiwan and China started operating, with daily charter flights introduced later in the year. In 2009, regularly scheduled cross-strait flights were finally introduced.
Joining SkyTeam and "NexGen" plan
China Airlines signed an agreement to begin the process of joining airline alliance SkyTeam on 14 September 2010 and officially became a full member on 28 September 2011. This was marked by an update to the logo of the airline and the typeface in which "China Airlines" is printed. The carrier was the first Taiwanese airline to join an airline alliance.
Since 2012, China Airlines has been participating in the Pacific Greenhouse Gases Measurement Project, led by the Environmental Protection Administration, Ministry of Science and Technology, and National Central University. As part of the collaboration, China Airlines installed "In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System " on three aircraft: B-18806 in June 2012, B-18317 in July 2016, and B-18316 in July 2017. B-18806 also wore "The Official Airline for Climate Monitoring" special livery. Between July 2012 and September 2017, the PGGM fleet collected greenhouse gases-data from a total of 4682 flights. In May 2017, B-18806 was retired. B-18316 and B-18317 are expected to continue collecting data until 2027.In December 2013, China Airlines announced its new joint venture with Singaporean low-cost carrier Tigerair Holdings to establish Tigerair Taiwan. The new airline flew its inaugural flight to Singapore on 26 September 2014 and became the first, and currently only, Taiwanese low-cost carrier. Tigerair Holdings previously held 10 percent of the shares. As disputes unfolded surrounding the partnership, China Airlines Group re-negotiated with Tigerair Holdings and has now taken full ownership of Tigerair Taiwan.
In March 2014, China Airlines announced the "NexGen " plan to complement its then-upcoming Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A350-900XWB. Designed to refresh the brand image of the carrier, the plan included product innovations, new uniforms, and fleet replacements. Through cooperating with designers from the Greater China region, the carrier hoped to introduce unique product offerings that can showcase the beauty of the Orient and cultural creativity of Taiwan. The first phase of the plan has been completed. In addition to new cabin designs, also introduced were the renovated Dynasty Lounges at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and the debut of new William Chang-designed uniforms. The new fleet types allowed the retirement of older aircraft; the A340-300 fleet was fully retired in June 2017 while the 747-400 has been fully replaced on long-haul routes. With the First Class-equipped 747s flying regionally and new long-haul aircraft not featuring First Class, China Airlines terminated First Class services in 2016. First Class seats are now sold as Business Class.Future phases of the NexGen plan include ordering new aircraft to replace older fleet types. In May 2019, the airline announced that it will be introducing the Airbus A321neo, including 14 leased, 11 purchased, and 5 options, along with 3 orders and 3 options for the Boeing 777F. The A321neo will replace the Boeing 737-800 while 777Fs will replace the Boeing 747-400F. Cabin design on the A321neo will continue the NexGen design ethos to provide passenger experience cohesive with that of the 777 and A350.Focus has also been put on tapping the maintenance, repair and overhaul market. In January 2015, China Airlines established Taiwan Aircraft Maintenance & Engineering Co. , an airline MRO company focusing on Boeing 737, 777, and Airbus A320, A330/A340, and A350XWB families fuselage maintenance. For the project, Airbus is providing a wide range of support, one of which is inviting China Airlines to join the Airbus MRO Alliance , alongside AAR Corp, Aeroman, Sabena technics, Etihad Airways Engineering, and GAMECO. Moreover, a joint-venture agreement has been signed with Tulsa-based Nordam, specializing in nacelle, thrust reversers, and composite materials, to establish the only Nordam repair center in Asia. The first TAMECO hangar, to be completed in March 2019, will be able to accommodate 2 777/A350 and 3 737/A320 at the same time.Labor-management unrest has been a major issue at China Airlines over recent years. On 25 June 2016, the Taoyuan Flight Attendants Union, representing some 2500 cabin crew, staged the first strike in Taiwanese aviation history. A total of 122 passenger flights were cancelled during the day-long strike. During the 2019 Lunar New Year season, over 600 pilots participated in a 7-day strike by the Taoyuan Union of Pilots. Over 200 flights were cancelled between 8 February and 14 February.In July 2020, the Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China passed a resolution for the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to rename the airline and redesign its liveries due to frequent confusion with Air China.
Ms. Wei Wang (VP of Fin. Div)
Ms. Juo-Ling Fang (VP of Admin. Division)
Ms. Hui-Na Huang (VP of Admin. Division)
Ms. Jia-Ling Shan (Assistant VP of Legal & Insurance Division)
Ms. Shwu-Huoy Lu (VP of Corp. Communications Office)
Mr. Cheng-Hao Chang (VP of Corp. Devel. Office)
Mr. Shih-Ming Lu (VP of HR Division)
Recognition and Awards
Mr. Shing-Hwang Kao (Pres & Director)
Mr. Chih-Yuan Chen (MD & Director)
Mr. Chen-Min Wang (Sr. VP)