Yunnan Airlines is an airline in China that was established in 1992. However, it has merged with China Eastern Airlines in 2003, together with China Northwest Airlines. Both airlines had to transfer their livery as well as their fleet to China Eastern. Thus, officially, there is no airliner flying under the Yunnan Airlines name anymore.
Prior to the merger, Yunnan Airlines was considered as an independent airline transport enterprise dealing with domestic, regional, and international passenger flights as well as freight transport.
• English name: Yunnan Airlines
• Chinese name: 中国云南航空公司
• Main hubs: Kunming Wujiaba International Airport
• Alliance member: SkyTeam
• IATA code: 3Q
• ICAO code: CYH
• Call sign: YUNNAN
• Headquarters: Kunming Wujiaba International Airport, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China
• Frequent flyer program: Golden Peacock Club
• Official website: n/a
Yunnan Airlines used to be a major domestic air travel force in China, but upon its merger into China Eastern, it helped the latter become the second largest carrier in China.
Branches in China
In the past, independent operations of Yunnan Airlines occurred from offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Canton, Chengdu, and Shenzhen.
Now, after the merger, Yunnan Airlines operations are based in the offices of China Eastern, of which there are many. China Eastern offices can be found in all major cities in China and several smaller cities as well.
Offices around the world
China Yunnan Airlines used to have business centers in Bangkok and Singapore. However, following the merger, China Yunnan’s operations were transferred to those of China Eastern, which operates from several offices all over the world. Some of these offices are found in:
Bangkok, Brussels, Dhaka, Frankfurt, Fukushima, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Ho Chi Minh, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Madrid, Moscow, Maldives, Munich,New York, New Delhi, Nagasaki, Osaka, Paris, Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Siem Reap, Tokyo, Vancouver
Prior to the merger, China Yunnan focused on a provincial circular traveling line, namely:
1. Kunming – Dali – Banna – Kunming
2. Kunming – Lijang – Banna - Kunming
This allowed all branch lines, provincial mainlines, and international mainlines to complete one another. This system played a significant role in the stable growth of Yunnan Airlines.
After the merger, flights were collapsed into those of China Eastern’s, which has a wide array of scheduled flights to destinations across the globe. As of now, China Eastern is in the process of expanding its US and Europe routes.
Prior to the merger, China Yunnan Airlines also operated a maintenance factory made up of a group of experienced service staff. It was equipped with a large-scale garage and a wide array of maintenance equipment. This helped increase the reliability rating of the airline.
Premium Economy Class
Yunnan Airlines did not offer a Premium Economy class when it was still in operation.
China Eastern, of which Yunnan Airlines is now part of, is a member of the SkyTeam alliance.
Fleet and Destination
Prior to its merger with China Eastern, Yunnan Airlines operated a fleet consisting of Bombardier CRJ-200, Boeing 737-300, and Boeing 767-300. Its fleet, which consisted mostly of Boeing airliners, totaled to around 20. Most of its operations were focused mostly on domestic flights from Kunming going to major Chinese cities. Its international operations were quite limited; the airline only previously flew to Singapore, Thailand, and Laos. The airliners were flown by 4 flights squads made up of 243 pilots. The entire flight group was known as a highly experienced and skilled one, which propelled Yunnan Airlines to popularity.
After the merger, flying under China Eastern, the airliners of China Yunnan flies to 63 domestic, regional, and international routes including non-scheduled charters to Seoul and Japan. This is combined with China Eastern’s scheduled routes to every part of the world, including East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Southwest Asia. Its US and Europe routes are being expanded as well.
Now known as China Eastern, Yunnan Airlines offers passengers free luggage allowance each time they book a flight. For most routes flown by the airline, passengers are allowed to carry one piece of carry-on luggage that weighs less than 5kg and which is under 20x40x55cm in size. For the US and Canada routes, passengers are allowed to carry two pieces of luggage for free. Infant tickets are provided with 1 piece of free carry-on baggage.
They are also allowed to check baggage into the flight with a maximum allowable weight of 32 kg and maximum size of 40x60x100 cm for each piece of luggage.
First class and business class passengers are entitled to increased allowance.
China Eastern runs its own airline catering service that provides in-flight food to China Eastern passengers as well as passengers on the airline’s subsidiaries and merged operations. The catering service is called Delicious Meals by China Eastern. This service offers both standard meals as well as special meals for passengers with special dietary requirements. However, these special meals are only available upon request, so the airline has to be informed prior to flight departure.
As is standard, Yunnan Airlines, through China Eastern Airlines, offers wheelchair service to all passengers who require such assistance. Passengers, however, have to inform the airline that they will need a special wheelchair service upon ticket reservation or up to 72 hours prior to departure.
All pregnant women who are beyond their 35th week of pregnancy will not be allowed to fly on any China Eastern flight. Passengers who are between the 32nd and the 35th weeks should provide a health certificate recently issued before they will be allowed onboard. The health certificate should attest that traveling is safe for the pregnant woman. Women under 32 weeks pregnant can travel as regular passengers.
Frequent Flyer Program
Before the merger, China Yunnan greatly rewarded its passengers, which is why it used to be one of the most trusted and preferred airlines flying domestically and regionally. They came up with the “Regular Traveler Plan” and the “Regular Customers’ Cooperation Plan”. They also set up the Golden Peacock Club to reward frequent flyers.
Now all passengers who fly on China Eastern flights can earn miles through Eastern Miles.