Air China is the national flag carrier of the People's Republic of China, with its headquarters in the Shunyi District, Beijing. The Chinese airline's primary hub airport is Beijing Capital International Airport, a major domestic and international hub in China. Air China operates 322 routes, including 82 international, 15 regional and 225 domestic routes.
Air China began operations in July 1988, as a result of the Chinese government's decision to split China's operating divisions into six separate airlines; Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, China Northern, China Southwest and China Northwest. As China's only national airline, it is committed to social responsibility and plays an important role in facilitating the implementation of key national strategies, such as the "Going Global Strategy", which encourages Chinese enterprises to invest overseas.
The airline has codeshare agreements with many airlines including Air Canada, Air Macau, Air New Zealand, Austrian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, South African Airways, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Tibet Airlines and United Airlines amongst many others. Air China joined the Sky Alliance - the world's largest global airline alliance.
Please note that the following baggage information is a guide, and is subject to change (by the airline) based on the applicable fare tariff and route. Free baggage allowance will be confirmed during the booking process when it is also possible to add more bags to your booking if required.
The hand baggage allowance for First class and Business class Air China passengers is two pieces, weighing no more than 8kg each. The baggage allowance for Economy Class passengers is one piece, weighing no more than 5kg.
Carry-on baggage must not exceed dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Any luggage that does not fit in the overhead cabin or seat in front of you will have to be checked into the hold.
Domestic flights: The baggage allowance is 40 kg (88 lb) for First Class, 30 kg (66 lb) for Business Class and 20 kg (44 lb) for Economy Class. The length, width and height of each piece of baggage shall not exceed 100 cm (40 in), 60 cm (24 in) and 40 cm (16 in).
International flights: First/Business Class passengers may check in two pieces of baggage for free, each weighing up to 32 kg (70 lb). Premium Economy Class passengers are entitled to check two pieces of ordinary baggage for free, each piece of baggage weighing up to 23 kg (50 lb). Economy Class passengers travelling on the following routes may check in two items of baggage for free, each weighing up to 23 kg (50 lb).
Air China's customers can choose to fly in Economy, Business or First Class.
Economy Class will serve you with a smile and comfort and treat you like a First Class passenger.
Pillows and blankets are provided in Economy Class, giving you comfort and a peaceful journey. Power outlets are available to help charge devices. Headphones and in-flight entertainment are available for your journey, with a range of music, films and games. Translation services from Mandarin to English are available. Drinks services come through and can take your selection or a cart of a range of beverages to choose from. White and red wine, beer and soft drinks can be chosen. Meals are included in Economy Class, with a mixture of cakes and snacks. Hot meals are served depending on the length of your journey and the time.
Air China's Economy Class seating consists of 261 seats and is arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration. Each seat is 32 inches wide and reclines.
Air China is yet to offer Premium Economy. If you wish to upgrade, please see the airline's Business Class fare.
Travel in style with Air China Business Class. Enjoy a relaxing flight and excellent customer service from check-in to landing.
Air China passengers can enjoy the peace and quiet of the Business Class lounge, where they will have access to a buffet and an exceptional selection of Chinese beers and wines to choose from.
Air China passengers are provided with a fully-flat bed to make sure they get the best sleep possible and arrive revitalised for the next leg of their journey. Passengers can adjust the seat to upright and relaxed positions for maximum comfort while sitting or reclining. With thick duvets and medium-size pillows as well as signature Air China red slippers, you will enjoy a relaxing night's sleep onboard your Air China flight.
Air China's First Class service provides you with the comfort and privacy you need to enjoy your flight. Sit back and relax in intimate and cosy suites.
Entertain yourself with a range of in-flight entertainment options. As well as additional space and privacy on board, First Class passengers will be offered complimentary drinks and provided with slippers, a L'Occitane amenity kit and high-quality pyjamas. You'll also have an exquisite choice of in-flight meals with a range of dishes inspired by Chinese cuisine and heritage.
Air China's First Class lounge in Beijing can be accessed with the airline's Priority Pass. Pass the time before your flight in Air China's entertainment space, with comfortable seating and a wide-screen TV. Enjoy a wide selection of complimentary food drinks and snacks and even choose Chinese delicacies from the airline's buffet selection.
Passengers are provided with in-flight magazines, newspapers, TV channels and movies on board their widebody jets.
Air China offers eight classic movies by world-renowned directors such as John Woo, Jia Zhangke and Xie Fe. Aircraft are equipped with state-of-the-art AVOD systems featuring bilingual classic movies as well as a large collection of games.
Air China offers a variety of food and beverages onboard. The menu will depend on the cabin class you fly in.
Economy passengers can enjoy healthy gourmet meals made with carefully selected ingredients on board their flight. Depending on the duration and time of your flight, passengers will be provided with breakfast, lunches, dinner and snacks. For shorter flights, passengers may receive sandwiches, hamburgers or snacks such as Chinese cake.
Passengers in business and first class can enjoy western or Chinese-style food at any mealtime, with lunch and dinner offering at least 3 main meal options which are served with a starter, bread, salad, cheese, fruit and a dessert. Snacks will also be available between meals, with healthy options such as seasonal fruits and yoghurt.
Air China has also recently invested in a new ‘Forbidden Pavilion First Class’ and ‘Capital Pavilion Business Class’, wherein passengers can enjoy tailor-made menus consisting of 18 dishes which can be pre-ordered and reserved. The available dishes include seafood, beef, pork, chicken, duck, vegetables or noodle soup, but may vary on the route travelling.
Passengers can request special meals for their flights at the time of booking, up until 24 hours before flying (except Kosher meals which must be requested 48 hours before departure). The types of meals available are as follows:
Fruit Platter Meal
Low fat/low cholesterol Meal
Low salt Meal
Low lactose Meal
Vegetarian Raw Meal
Vegetarian vegan Meal
Vegetarian Jain Meal
Passengers can enjoy a selection of teas, coffee and soft drinks onboard Air China flights. In addition, there is a ‘Cellar in the Sky’ service where passengers can try a range of different wines, champagnes, cognac, spirits and beer.
Air China offers online check-in for its passengers. If you're unable to check in online, you can check in at the airport.
Online check-in is available on the Air China website.
Customers must arrive at the airport before the check-in desk closes. Check-in closing time will vary according to the flight's departure. In general, for domestic flights passengers must arrive 45 minutes prior to departure and 60 minutes prior for international flights.
PhoenixMiles is the frequent flyer program of Air China, along with its subsidiary, Shenzhen Airlines, and Shandong Airlines, Tibet Airlines and Dalian Airlines. PhoenixMiles was the first frequent flyer program launched in mainland China and was designed to reward frequent flyers travelling internationally and domestically with both Air China and its partner airlines.
When you make an Air China booking through Alternative Airlines, simply select ‘PhoenixMiles’ from the drop-down list of frequent flyer options during the flight booking process. You can then add your personal membership number, and collect your points when you fly!
Air China is a member of the Star Alliance.
In 2006, Air China signed an agreement to join the Star Alliance, and became a member of the alliance in December 2007, alongside its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines.
Special service requests can include mobility assistance, requesting an extra seat or requesting permission to fly with special service animals or medical equipment. Whatever your need, Alternative Airlines is here to help. Requests for special services can be made at the time of booking, by completing the special request form - we then pass this information on to the airline. You can also contact our customer service team after making your booking, or to find out more.
Some of the airline's most popular destinations include Bangkok (Thailand), Barcelona (Spain), Berlin (Germany), Cairo (Egypt), Changzhou (China), Chaoyang (China), Dandong (China), Haikou (China), Hanoi (Vietnam), Honolulu (Hawaii), Houston (USA), London (UK). Mianyang (China), Munich (Germany), New York (USA), Rome (Italy), Shanghai (China), Shenzhen (China), Tokyo (Japan), Qinghai (China, Yangzhou (China) and Zhengzhou (China). The airline flies to the following destinations within China:
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Air China is based at Beijing Capital International Airport which is the main international airport in Beijing. The Chinese airport is located 32km (20 miles) from the city centre. In 2016 it welcomed over 95 million passengers, making it one of the busiest airports in the world. Other airlines flying similar routes include China Express Airlines.
The airline operates an extensive fleet (397 aircraft in total!) consisting of both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. This includes 105 x Boeing 737-800 (+50 on order), 18 x Boeing 737-700, 33 x Airbus A319-100 and 44 x Airbus A320-200 (+11 ordered).
Alternative Airlines customers can now pre-book Air China seats when they purchase their flight. Whether you love to have a window seat or you prefer the aisle, you'll find your favourite place to sit on the plane with Alternative Airlines.
With Alternative Airlines you can book your Air China flights in English! Avoid misunderstandings and count on us to provide you with a safe and secure booking service in English. You can also contact our excellent customer service team with any of your queries.
If you are booking your Air China flights from outside the People's Republic of China or Hong Kong SAR then you will be able to make use of one of our Buy Now, Pay Later booking options. We currently accept a whole range of payment options allowing you to spread the cost of your flights into manageable instalments spread across weeks or months. Continue reading below about some of the options available including Klarna, Affirm, Afterpay, and Zip. Find out more with our Fly Now Pay Later with Air China guide.