China Xinhua was one of a range of smaller Chinese airlines that sprung up during the 1990s using the aircraft of choice at the time - the Boeing 737-300. Several of these small local government backed startups would go onto become major Chinese airlines (I'm thinking Shandong Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines) whilst some would stay small and get sucked up by the majors (Zhongyuan Airlines and Wuhan Airlines for example). China Xinhua would straddle the line between semi-independence and cultural assimilation. In fact it is often hard to be certain that the airline really even exists anymore!
China Xinhua Airlines was formed in August 1992 as a joint venture between the Beijing Municipal Government and other unidentified (by me at least) financiers. The name is a little odd as Xinhua means 'New China' so the airline is really called 'China New China Airlines'! Initial equipment came in the form of a single new Boeing 737-300 registered B-2908. This aircraft, a series 341, was built for VARIG as PP-VPC but was not taken up by the Brasilian flag carrier. She joined Xinhua on April 15, 1993.
It appears Xinhua was able to take advantage of the weak global economy at the time as they also acquired a pair of 737-332s from the factory, which were originally to be N304DE and N305DE for Delta. These joined the fleet as B-2942 and 2943 in November 1993. A fourth 737 (a 39K - B-2934) joined in December and a fifth in August 1994 (a 37K - B-2945). China Xinhua operated from its base at Beijing Capital as well as relatively nearby Tianjin and more distant Shenzhen. Cities served included Changzhou, Haikou, Hefei, Jinan, Kunming, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenyang, Wenzhou and Xian.
China Xinhua's fleet was added to in late 2003 by a pair of used 737-800s leased from GECAS. Subsequently all the original 737s have been withdrawn (with all the series 300s going to either Yangtze River Express or Donghai as freighters) and replaced by 6 ex-Hainan Airlines 737-84Ps. Lacking its own identity it is hard to find out much if any information about the modern China Xinhua. Certainly the Hainan Airlines group (HNA) ownership is very convoluted. For a time it was suggested that Shaanxi, Changan and Xinhua would combine with the newer entity called Grand China Air (which is separate to Hainan but part owned by it and confusingly part owns Hainan too!!!).
This doesn't have seemed to happen but neither has Grand China Air become the new name for the Hainan Airlines group itself, which was also mooted. Instead Grand China remains a minor operator of 737s as seemingly does China Xinhua itself. Shan Xi Airlines as it's now known has only a single 737-800 in its own name. Interestingly Chang An Airlines itself has recently regained its independence from Hainan Airlines so it is not an impossibility that China Xinhua, which showed so much early promise, may also follow the same path. Only time will tell.
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: