Air China Limited, commonly referred to as Air China, was named the Official Air Transportation Services Partner for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing, China last week. Air China is China’s largest airline and exclusive national flag carrier. It was the official carrier of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, which were also held in Beijing.

“Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are a major landmark event in China’s History. Air China will bring its own strengths into play and mobilize its resources to spread Olympic Values and increase the impact of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Song Zhiyong, President of Air China Limited. “Air China has the capacity and confidence to promote the Olympic spirit through innovative approaches, fulfill the promise as an Official Partner, and support the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games with a high quality of services.”

“We congratulate Air China in again partnering its services with the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in China for Beijing 2022,” said Zhang Jiandong, Deputy Mayor of Beijing and Vice Executive President of Beijing 2022. “Beijing 2022 will spare no effort to provide quality services to ensure Air China enjoy the widespread benefits of being an Official Partner of Beijing 2022.”

Air China reports that their relationship with the Olympics dates to as early as July 1984, when the airline carried China’s first delegation to the Games in Los Angeles. They were announced partners for the 2008 games on August 4, 2004.

“On August 8, 2008, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games were officially launched and Air China was widely applauded by BOCOG and members of the Olympic Family for its meticulous preparation, through organization, effective operations, and high-quality service,” says a statement on Air China’s website from 2008.

According to the airline, from July 1, 2008 to August 25, 2008, 4,992 Air China Olympic Flights were operated by the airline. Of those, 180 were charter flights for government officials, 132 were ‘guaranteed in terms of special plane standards’, and 166 featured business aircraft in addition to planes carrying spectators and even some athletes. In addition, the airline claims that 24,500 employees worked overtime to ensure the success of the operation, and 122 tons of Olympic-related cargo were transported by the airline.

In 2008, Air China painted its planes used to charter olympic visitors with special characters and the logo of the Games. They can be expected to do the same in 2022 in order to add a festive nature to the flights and bring attention to their operation.

An Air China 737 painted in special Olympic colors after the 2008 Games in Beijing.
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The financial terms have not been released at the time of writing. Olympic organizers are expected to announce sports apparel and dairy product partners soon. The signing follows the Bank of China singing on as the first official partner of the Games last month.

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