Great Wall Airlines was formed in Shanghai as a joint partnership between Beijing Aerospace Satellite Applications Corp, Dahlia Investments and Singapore Airlines, operating its first service on June 1, 2006. It was the first local-foreign ownership carrier in China. Operations did not run smoothly however as only two months later operations were forced to cease when the US Department of Treasury placed sanctions against the airlines' parent company for breaching sanctions against Iran. Missile technology has allegedly been supplied. The sanctions were lifted in December but operations did not recommence until February 2007.
Operations restarted to Amsterdam, Manchester, Mumbai, Seoul. From June 2008 services began to the US cities of Seattle, Chicago and Atlanta. The fleet consisted of four Singapore Airlines 747s (a BCF and 3 412Fs). B-2433 was delivered to SIA as 9V-SFI on September 28, 2000. Great Wall was merged into China Cargo Airlines in June 2011 after China Eastern purchased a 51% stake from Beijing Aerospace Satellite Applications Corporation in March 2010.
By this time one of the 747-400Fs (B-2429, ex 9V-SFH) had been sold to Dubai Air Wings to be used as a horse transport. Despite the merger of the company with China Cargo its aircraft still wear the Great Wall livery. This airframe was involved in a major accident on October 24, 2014 when landing at Shanghai the right wing gear failed to extend and lock into position. An emergency landing was performed without the right main gear leading the aircraft to come to a halt with both right wing engines on the ground and the nosegear in the air. Following reloading the nosegear was brought to the runway surface and the aircraft was towed off the runway. Despite some damage to the engines and gear assemblies the aircraft was repaired and is back in service still in her Great Wall colours.
Hradecky, Simon. 2014, October. Accident: Great Wall B744 at Shanghai on Oct 24th 2014, right main gear up landing. Aviation Herald
2010, March. China Eastern buys into Great Wall Airlines. Air Cargo News
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: