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China Airlines History

China Airlines, with the IATA code CI, is one of the major airlines in Taiwan. Established in 1959, the airline has a rich history and has played a significant role in the development of Taiwan's aviation industry.

China Airlines was founded as a state-owned enterprise by the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Its primary objective was to provide domestic and international air transportation services, connecting Taiwan with the rest of the world. The airline started its operations with a small fleet of aircraft and gradually expanded its route network.

During the early years, China Airlines focused on establishing connections within Asia. It initiated flights to neighboring countries such as Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. As the airline gained popularity and its fleet grew, it expanded its reach to destinations in Europe, North America, and Oceania.

More Airline Insights & Tips

Here are a few of helpful resources & tips that can further enhance your knowledge of China airlines and how to best be prepared for your trip:

  • Delays are an unfortunate fact of the life of an air traveler. Arm yourself against surprises by knowing the flight status of your CI China flight before heading to the airport, as this could save you a lot of time, or even your trip to the airport if your flight is canceled.
  • Info can be found here on China Airlines’s company structure, headquarters, etc.
  • See which partnerships and alliances China has here. This is useful if you want to build up your frequent flyer points on partner airlines.
  • Want to know which plane types are in service? Check out CI’s fleet list here.
  • When considering a flight booking on China Airlines, be aware that third-party travel sites might require you to use their customer service instead of China 's, which may be less than ideal in certain situations.

Beyond the history presented here for China , if you’re wanting more aviation history, read about the history of commercial flight here, or the history of the airline industry here.

In the 1980s, China Airlines underwent a significant transformation. The government decided to privatize the airline, allowing it to operate as a commercial entity. This move brought about changes in management, operations, and service quality. China Airlines began modernizing its fleet by introducing newer and more advanced aircraft, enhancing passenger comfort and safety.

Over the years, China Airlines has faced various challenges, including economic downturns, accidents, and intense competition in the aviation industry. However, the airline has managed to overcome these obstacles and has emerged as a reputable carrier with a strong presence in the global market.

Today, China Airlines operates a modern fleet of wide-body aircraft, including Boeing 777s and Airbus A350s, offering passengers a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience. The airline continues to expand its route network, connecting major cities around the world and serving as a vital link between Taiwan and other countries.

For more information about this airline, check out our comprehensive China Airlines Guide.

Find more help here for your journey through the airport