Founded: Xiamen Air predates China’s “big three” – Air China, China Eastern and China Southern – by at least four years, being founded in July 1984. Until recently, however, the airline’s business model focused solely on domestic and regional markets. Today it is a state-owned subsidiary of China Southern Airlines.

Home base: There are three main Xiamen Air hubs in China – Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport, Fuzhou Changle International Airport and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport.

Fleet size: Xiamen Air is the only Chinese airline to have an all-Boeing fleet, boasting more than 140 aircraft according to a statement from Boeing following its signing of an MOU with Xiamen Air for up to 30 B737 Max 200 aircraft in July 2016. These include two-class B737-700s, one- and two-class B737-800s, three-class B757-200s and three-class B787s.

Xiamen Air notably took delivery of its first B787-8 Dreamliner in 2015 – which it deployed on its inaugural continental route to Amsterdam – and currently has six of the aircraft in its fleet, along with the newer B787-9.

Route network: In addition to its inaugural continental route to Amsterdam in 2015, Xiamen Air has expanded its network of Xiamen Air-operated flights to include Sydney (2015), and Melbourne and Seattle (2016). Most recently, the airline began flying non-stop flights between Fuzhou and New York JFK in February 2017 using its B787.

Alliance: Xiamen Air is a member of the Skyteam alliance which includes fellow Chinese carriers China Eastern and China Southern, as well as Asian carriers China Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Korean Air and Vietnam Airlines, and global carriers Air France, Delta Air Lines and KLM.

Future plans: According to Xiamen Air’s president, Che Shanglun, the carrier has ambitions to break into the top 20 of the aviation market and become the top Asia-Pacific airline. Most notably, this involves growing its fleet to 268 aircraft by 2020, according to Che, and bringing its annual passenger capacity to 50 million. “Xiamen Air is changing from what it used to be and looking for new development,” he said.

For more on China’s rapid expanding airline industry, read Business Traveller‘s feature “Chinese Aviation: Ascent of the Dragon”.