China Airlines: The Wings of Taiwan; Airlines Series, Vol. 11;
Authored by: Jozef Mols
The roots of China Airlines can be found in mainland China (the People’s Republic of China). After several attempts to set up national airlines in mainland China, the airline was first established in 1929 by the Nanjing National government, but the company was short-lived. During World War Two and the subsequent civil war in China, the American CIA decided to set up an airline to supply the anti-communist troops of Chiang Kai-shek. By 1949, the government had retreated to Taiwan (officially, the Republic of China), which had been liberated. A new China Airlines was set up with American assistance. In the first years of its existence, its main task was shipping supplies to anti-communist forces in Asia. Only in the late 1960s, when jets entered the airline’s fleet, did its focus shift from military to civilian operations. However, the airline would continue to struggle because of tensions between mainland China and the Republic of China. Furthermore, it had to compete with new Taiwanese private airlines, set up after the end of martial law on the island and the liberalisation of civil aviation. Finally, in 2009, regular flights between Taiwan and China were introduced, enabling citizens on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to visit relatives on the other side. In the meantime, China Airlines has grown to become an internationally respected intercontinental airline, using modern equipment such as the Airbus A350 and A321 and Boeing 777. With over 100 images, this book tells the fascinating story of China Airlines, including its rocky beginnings and the obstacles it has overcome.