South of the Fuzhou Province on Fujian's coast is the city of Xiamen. Xiamen Fujian Province was formerly an island but now is connected on the mainland by a causeway. The city is another one of China's special economic zones. Taiwan controls the smaller islands that are a mile or so off the coast of Xiamen. Xiamen was founded in 1394 at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty as a center of defense against costal pirates. Its prosperity was due to its deep water sheltered harbor that is located in nearby Quanzhou Port. The interesting history and attractions make Xiamen a great vacation site.
With its main base being in Xiamen and with hubs in Fuzhou and Wauyishan, in the Fujian Province and at Hangzhou in the Zhenjiang Province, Xiamen Airlines was the first airline company in the People's Republic of China that was run by private individuals; it was established on July 25th, 1984 and was based on Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport. Now the shareholders are China South Airline Company Limited that has sixty percent of the shares and also Xiamen Construction and Development Company Limited that has forty percent of the shares of stock.
Xiamen Airlines was the brain child of the Chinese Civil air system trail reform. From its inception the company appears in the air transportation line with a brand new system. The initial investment of RMB was twenty million dollars from 1987 to 1999 and the company continues to make a profit and it has for 13 years of RMB capital of about five million dollars. Xiamen Airlines has twenty Boeing which includes 5 757, 7 537, containing a plane for both passengers and freight. The total amount of seats equal 2955. Xiamen Airlines average fleet age is 7.3 years old in June 2006.
China Southern Airlines signed an initial agreement to purchase 13 Boeing 787 aircraft, 3 planes were for its affiliate, Xiamen Airlines. Aircraft deliveries are expected to be in 208 and 2010. In December 2005, Xiamen Airlines inked a deal for 10 Boeing 737-800 aircraft to be equipped with Blended Winglets and to be delivered between the middle of 2006 to 2008. This order forms part of the 70 plane general plane agreement Signed by the China Aviation Supplies and Import and Export Group Corporation and The Boeing Company when the United States of America President, George Bush visited China in November of 2005.
Besides domestic operations, the airline also flies to Seoul, Osaka, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Kualar Lumpur, Penang, and Bangkok. Due to Xiamen's proximity to Taiwan it is expected that Xiamen would be the first airlines to fly to Taiwan when politics allows.
In February of 2000, an international airliner route was opened from Xiamen to Bangkok and non- scheduled charter international charter flights have been opened from Xiamen to Nagasaki and Phnom Penh. The company has sent over 30 businesses departments and offices.
On October 2 1990, Xiamen Airlines Number 8301 from Xiamen to Guanghoz a Boeing 737 -237 was highjacked shortly after it took off from Xiamen and crashed into Buiyan International Airport causing 127 deaths and two other airplanes on the apron were destroyed. Dealing with over 100 airlines routes Xiamen Airlines has remained the most popular airline in China. because it provides travel for locals and foreigners alike.