China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited (simplified Chinese: 中国东方航空公司; traditional Chinese: 中國東方航空公司, colloquially known as 东航/東航) is an airline headquartered in the China Eastern Airlines Building, on the grounds of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Changning District, Shanghai, China. It is a major Chinese airline operating international, domestic and regional routes. Its main hubs are at Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, with secondary hubs at Beijing Capital International Airport, Kunming Changshui International Airport and Xi'an Xianyang International Airport.
China Eastern Airlines is China's second-largest carrier by passenger numbers. China Eastern and its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines became the 14th member of SkyTeam on 21 June 2011. The parent company of China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited (SSE: 600115 SEHK: 670 NYSE: CEA) is the China Eastern Airlines Group, a state-owned enterprise that was supervised by State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.
China Eastern Airlines was established on 25 June 1988 under the CAAC Huadong Administration. In 1997, China Eastern took over unprofitable China General Aviation and also became the country's first airline to offer shares on the international market. In 1998 it founded China Cargo Airlines in a joint venture with COSCO. In March 2001, it completed the takeover of Great Wall Airlines. China Yunnan Airlines and China Northwest Airlines merged into China Eastern Airlines in 2003.
The Chinese government has a majority ownership stake in China Eastern Airlines (61.64%), while some shares are publicly held (H shares, 32.19%); A shares, 6.17%. On 20 April 2006 the media broke the news of a possible sale of up to 20% of its stake to foreign investors, including Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Japan Airlines, with Singapore Airlines confirming that negotiations were underway.
After receiving approval from the State Council of China, it was announced that on 2 September 2007 Singapore Airlines and Temasek Holdings (holding company which owns 55% of Singapore Airlines) would jointly acquire shares of China Eastern Airlines. On 9 November 2007 investors signed a final agreement to buy a combined 24% stake in China Eastern Airlines: Singapore Airlines would own 15.73% and Temasek Holdings an 8.27% stake in the airline. Singapore Airlines' pending entry into the Chinese market prompted the Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific to attempt to block the deal by buying a significant stake in China Eastern and voting down the deal together with Air China (which already held an 11% stake in China Eastern) at the shareholders' meeting in December 2007. However, on 24 September Cathay Pacific announced that it had abandoned these plans.
Air China's parent company, state-owned China National Aviation Corporation, announced in January 2008 that it would offer 32% more than Singapore Airlines for the 24% stake in China Eastern, potentially complicating the deal that Singapore Airlines and Temasek had proposed. However, minority shareholders declined the offer made by Singapore Airlines. It is thought that this was due to the massive effort made by Air China to buy the 24% stake.
On 11 June 2009 it was announced that China Eastern Airlines would merge with Shanghai Airlines. The merger of China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines was expected to reduce excess competition between the two Shanghai-based carriers while consolidating Shanghai's status as an international aviation hub. In February 2010 the merger was completed. Shanghai Airlines became a wholly owned subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines. However, Shanghai Airlines retained its brand and livery. The new combined airline was expected to have over half of the market share in Shanghai, the financial hub of China.
In March 2012 it was announced that China Eastern was forging a strategic alliance with the Qantas Group to set up Jetstar Hong Kong, a new low cost airline to be based at Hong Kong International Airport, which would commence operations in 2013. China Eastern would hold a 50% stake in the new airline, with the Qantas Group holding the other 50%, representing a total investment of US$198 million. However, in June 2015, the Hong Kong authority refused to issue operating license to Jetstar Hong Kong. China Eastern and Qantas subsequently announced the end of the investment.
In April 2013, China Eastern got a temporary permit to operate in the Philippines, but the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines required them to obtain a technical permit and an airport slot.
In 2012, China Eastern was awarded the “Golden Ting Award” at the China Capital Market Annual Conference 2012, recognizing it as one of the 50 most valuable Chinese brands by WPP and ranking in the top ten of FORTUNE China's CSR Ranking 2013.
The airline announced a 25% fall in earnings for 2014 from their net profit of 2.38bn Chinese Yuan in 2013. It commented that tougher competition from low-cost airlines and a newly launched high-speed rail network is affecting profitability.
On September 9, 2014, China Eastern was introduced the new logo and new livery. In 2014, China Eastern Airlines carried 83.08 million domestic and international passengers with an average load factor of 73%.
In 2015 the airline entered a partnership with Delta Air Lines in which Delta will buy a 3.55% share in China Eastern for $450 million.
China Eastern Airlines has a strong presence on routes in Asia, North America and Australia. The airline looks to exploit the domestic market potential as it boosts flight frequencies from Shanghai to other Chinese cities. The airline is also accelerating the pace of international expansion by increasing flight frequencies to international destinations. In 2007 it began operations to New York City from Shanghai, making it the longest non-stop route for the airline.
China Eastern Airlines codeshares with the following airlines:
As of October 2017, the China Eastern Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft:
China Eastern Airlines was the first Chinese carrier to place an order with Airbus. The backbone of the fleet is the A320 series, which are used primarily on domestic flights.
In 2005, China Eastern Airlines placed an order for 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The airline subsequently cancelled its order owing to continuous delays, instead ordering Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft, but placed another order in 2016, for 787-9s. On 18 October 2011, China Eastern Airlines placed an order for 15 Airbus A330s.
On 27 April 2012, China Eastern Airlines ordered 20 Boeing 777-300ERs pending government approval. The airline received its first 777-300ER aircraft on 26 September 2014.
In 2015 the airline announced plans to acquire a further 15 Airbus A330 aircraft for delivery in 2017 and 2018.
China Eastern Airlines has previously operated the following aircraft:
Airbus A330-343 in 2011 Xi'an International Horticultural Expo Livery
Airbus A320-232 in 2011 Xi'an International Horticultural Expo Livery
Airbus A330-343 in EXPO Shanghai 2010 Livery
Boeing 737-800 in special livery for promotion of tourism in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture
China Eastern Yunnan Airlines Boeing 737-800 in Purple Peacock Livery
Airbus A330-343 in People's Daily Online Livery
Airbus A330-343 in Xinhua News Livery
Airbus A330-343 in Shanghai Disney Resort Livery
Airbus A321-231 in SkyTeam livery
China Eastern Airlines's frequent-flyer program is called Eastern Miles (simplified Chinese: 东方万里行; traditional Chinese: 東方萬里行). Shanghai Airlines and China United Airlines, China Eastern's subsidiary, are also parts of the program. Enrollment is free of charge. Eastern Miles members can earn miles on flights as well as through consumption with China Eastern's credit card. When enough miles are collected, members can be upgraded to Elite. Elite membership of Eastern Miles can be divided into three tiers: Platinum Card membership, Gold Card membership and Silver Card membership. Elite membership can enjoy extra privileged services.
160,000 Points or 90 qualifying flights within 12 months
80,000 Points or 40 qualifying flights within 12 months
40,000 Points or 25 qualifying flights within 12 months
After the merger with Shanghai Airlines, China Eastern Airlines signaled that it would combine the two carriers' cargo subsidiaries as well. The airline's new subsidiary cargo carrier, consisting of the assets of China Cargo Airlines, Great Wall Airlines and Shanghai Airlines Cargo, commenced operations in 2011 from its base in Shanghai, China's largest air cargo market. China Eastern Airlines signed a strategic cccooperation frameworkagreement with Shanghai Airport Group, which controls both Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport. The airline will allocate more capacity to Pudong Airport to open more international routes and boost flight frequencies on existing international and domestic trunk routes.
China Eastern Airlines's cargo subsidiary, China Cargo Airlines, is China's first all-cargo airline operating dedicated freight services using China Eastern Airlines' route structure. The cargo airline carries the same logo of China Eastern Airlines.
Media related to China Eastern Airlines at Wikimedia Commons
Investment goal date:
China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited CEA report Q2 2017
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