In recent years Xiamen has been taken over by China Southern, which holds a 51% stake, however it continues to operate separately and indeed it is China Southern that has been trying to learn from the profitable Xiamen. Xiamen's international route network has always been a small component of its substantial traffic with mainly regional routes to Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur but the arrival of the first 787s gives the airline an opportunity to expand its services. As of December 2014 the fleet stood at 111 aircraft:
Xiamen will be the 6th Chinese airline to start long-haul flights however until certification is gained and experience is gathered the 787s are being used on domestic services like Fuzhou and Xiamen to Beijing. Xiamen's first 787 arrived on 29 August 2014, is registered B-2768, and its arrival made Xiamen China's third 787 operator. Xiamen to Amsterdam, Paris, Sydney and Vancouver will all be early long-haul routes whilst Fuzhou - New York is under consideration. Xiamen itself has admitted that it is not necessarily expecting to make a profit with the small 787 fleet but to use it partially as a social and economic development tool. There will also be a government subsidy for the operations which may expand to the USA in time. Certainly Xiamen Airlines is likely to become a well known name outside of China in the next decade.
Personally I've never been a fan of the aesthetics of the 787 which in my opinion has an ugly nose and undercarriage which appears too short for the fuselage size. However Phoenix's mould is superb and actually makes the aircraft look better than it does in real life!
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: