A Directory of Chinese Domestic Airline Companies for China Travel

China, one of the largest and fastest-growing aviation markets in the world, has a vast array of airlines for domestic and international travel. Since many folks come to China on package tours, it is easy to be completely unaware of what airline you're traveling with. However, if you're booking your own way, knowing who operates out of where can be a big help in purchasing tickets. Discount airlines, like Spring Airlines, won't come up in search, so it's helpful to check them out for discounts. And it's also nice to know with whom the airlines are partners, so you can rack up some extra miles along the way.
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    china airplane
    ••• An airplane in China. Frank Short/Getty Images

    Air China is one of China's largest carriers and has flights all over China, Asia and the rest of the world. As a Star Alliance member, Air China flights on the same routes as its partner can be a cheaper option but airplanes are typically rather old with few modern amenities (like overhead lights that work).

    • Chinese Name: 中国国际航空公司
    • How to pronounce the Chinese Name: zhong gwoh gwoh gee hahng kong gong sih
    • Airline Code: CA
    • Website: Air China Home
    • Partnerships and Frequent Flyer Programs: Star Alliance and PhoenixMiles
    • Symbol: a stylized red phoenix 
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    Based in Shanghai, China Eastern operates domestic flights all over China as well as strong international flight routes.

    • Chinese Name: 中国东方航空公司
    • How to pronounce the Chinese Name: zhong gwoh dong fahng hahng kong gong sih
    • Airline Code: MU
    • Website: China Eastern Home
    • Partnerships and Frequent Flyer Programs: Eastern Miles
    • Symbol: a white bird on a blue and red background

     

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    Based in Guangzhou, China Southern serves mostly southern China but also operates many Asia and broader international flights. It touts a relatively modern fleet of airplanes.

    • Chinese Name: 中国南方航空公司
    • How to pronounce the Chinese Name: zhong gwoh nahn fahng hahng kong gong sih
    • Airline Code: CZ
    • Website: China Southern Home
    • Partnerships and Frequent Flyer Programs: Sky Pearl Club and Sky Team
    • Symbol: stylized red kapok flower on a blue background

     

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    Chongqing Airlines

    Based in Chongqing, this airline is a very small company serving domestic routes only.

    • Chinese Name: 重庆航空
    • How to pronounce the Chinese Name: chong ching hahng kong
    • Airline Code: OQ
    • Website: Chongqing Air Home (only Chinese language)
    • Symbol: a red swoosh over a blue swoosh
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    Hainan Airlines is based out of Haikou, Hainan Island but has extensive domestic routes as well as limited international routes mostly in Eastern Europe.

    • Chinese Name: 海南航空公司
    • How to pronounce the Chinese Name: hi nahn hahng kong gong sih
    • Airline Code: HU
    • Website: Hainan Airlines
    • Partnerships and Frequent Flyer Programs: Fortune Wings Club

     

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    Juneyao is a discount airline based out of Shanghai.

    • Chinese Name: 吉祥航空公司
    • How to pronounce the Chinese Name: gee shanhg hahng kong gong sih
    • Airline Code: HO
    • Website: Juneyao Home
    • Partnerships and Frequent Flyer Programs: none

     

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    Lucky Air

    Lucky Air is a tiny airline operating out of Dali in Yunnan Province.

    • Chinese Name: 祥鹏航空公司
    • How to pronounce the Chinese Name: shahng peng hahng kong gong sih
    • Airline Code: 8L
    • Website: Lucky Air Home (Chinese language only)
    • Partnerships and Frequent Flyer Programs: none

     

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    Shandong Airlines

    Shandong Airlines serves northeast China out of Jinan the Shandong Provincial capital.

    • Chinese Name: 山东航空公司
    • How to pronounce the Chinese Name: shan dong hahng kong gong sih
    • Airline Code: SC
    • Website: Shandong Airlines Home
    • Partnerships and Frequent Flyer Programs: Shandong Airlines is partnered with Air China so joins Star Alliance and PhoenixMiles loyalty programs.

     

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    Shanghai Airlines

    Based in Shanghai, Shanghai Airlines operates flights all over China as well as some international destinations.

    • Chinese Name: 上海航空公司
    • How to pronounce the Chinese Name: shang hai hahng kong gong sih
    • Airline Code: FM
    • Website: Shanghai Airlines Home
    • Partnerships and Frequent Flyer Programs: Star Alliance and Crane Club
    • Symbol: a stylized red crane

     

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    Shenzhen Airlines

    Shenzhen Airlines is based in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province and serves the Chinese domestic market with a very few international (Asian) flights.

    • Chinese Name: 深圳航空公司
    • How to pronounce the Chinese Name: shen zen hahng kong gong sih
    • Airline Code: ZH
    • Website: Shenzhen Air Home
    • Partnerships and Frequent Flyer Programs: King Club Mileage Program
    • Symbol: a stylized "roc" or "peng" bird - a divine bird

     

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    Sichuan Airlines

    Sichuan Airlines serves the domestic market out of Chengdu, Sichuan's Provincial capital. It's one of the few airlines serving Lhasa from Chengdu.

    • Chinese Name: 四川航空公司
    • How to pronounce the Chinese Name: sih chuahn hahng kong gong sih
    • Airline Code: 3U
    • Website: Sichuan Air Home (Chinese language only).
    • Partnerships and Frequent Flyer Programs: Golden Panda

     

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    Spring Airlines

    Spring Airlines is a discount airline based out of Shanghai. Flights advertised on their site start at 99rmb. This bare-bones operation offers only water on board the flight (meals can be purchased). The airline operates limited domestic flight routes out of Shanghai. Flights can only be purchase from their website.

    • Chinese Name: 春秋航空公司
    • How to pronounce the Chinese Name: choon chioh hahng kong gong sih
    • Airline Code: 9C
    • Website: Spring Air Home
    • Partnerships and Frequent Flyer Programs: none

     

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    Xiamen Airlines

    Xiamen Airlines is owned by China Southern Airlines. It's base is in Xiamen, Fujian Province and operates a large network of domestic flights out of Xiamen. It also has a hub in Hangzhou. Xiamen Airlines operates limited Asian international flights.

    • Chinese Name: 厦门航空公司
    • How to pronounce the Chinese Name: shah men hahng kong gong sih
    • Airline Code: MF
    • Website: Xiamen Air Home
    • Partnerships and Frequent Flyer Programs: Egret Card
    • Symbol: a white egret flying on a blue background