Air China Limited ("Air China") and its predecessor, the former Air China, were founded in 1988. According to the "Civil Aviation System Reform Program" which was approved and passed by the State Department in October 2002, the former Air China consolidated with China National Aviation Company and China Southwest Airlines and founded China Aviation Group Company. Based on the combined air transportation resources of the three entities, the new Air China Company was established. On September 30th, 2004, approved by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), Air China Limited was officially launched in Beijing, operating air transport services as its primary business and controlled by the China Aviation Group. On December 15th, 2004, Air China successfully listed in Hong Kong (SEHK: 0753) and London (LSE: AIRC).
Air China’s logo consists of an artistic Phoenix pattern, the Chinese name of the airline written in calligraphy by former national leader Mr. Deng Xiaoping, and "AIR CHINA" written in English. The phoenix logo is also an artistic transfiguration of the word "VIP". The color is the traditional Chinese red which implies auspiciousness, completion, peace and happiness, and expresses Air China's sincere passion to serve society and endlessly pursue safety. Air China holds its vision and orientation as “a well-established global airline”, the connotation of which is to realize four strategic objectives: leading competitiveness in the world market, continuously enhanced development potential, excellent and distinguished travel experiences for passengers, and steadily increasing profits. Its enterprise spirit emphasizes "serving the world with a warm heart and guiding the future by innovation". Its enterprise mission is to "meet the requirements of customers and create mutual value". Its enterprise sense of worth is to "deliver a high level of service and earn universal approval from the public". Its service philosophy is "Credibility, Convenience, Comfort and Choice".
Air China is China’s exclusive national flag carrier for civil aviation, a member of the Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance, and it was the official airline partner of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It ranks first among domestic airline brands (evaluated by the World Brand Laboratory as having a brand value of RMB 61.885 billion in 2012) and it leads its domestic competitors in passenger and air freight transport and related services.