Shenzhen Airlines is a domestic budget airline headquartered on the grounds of Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport in Bao'an District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, People's Republic of China.
The airline was established in November 1992 and started operations on 17 September 1993. It was formed by the CAAC and Shenzhen government, with financial participation by Air China, Overseas Chinese City Economic Development Corporation, Bank of China and Shenzhen South Tongfa Industrial Corporation. It is one of the most profitable airlines in China. It is currently owned by Guangdong Development Bank (65%), CNAC (Air China) (25%) and Shenzhen Investment Management (10%).
In 2004 it founded, with German partners Lufthansa Cargo and DEG, the international cargo airline Jade Cargo International which started operations in September 2005. Shenzhen Airlines owns a 51% stake in the cargo airline.
On 10 June 2005, Boeing handed over the first Boeing 737-900 to Shenzhen Airlines in Seattle. It was the first of five to be delivered during 2005 for operation on domestic and regional routes. Shenzhen is the first Chinese airline to order the Boeing 737-900 and this is the airline's first direct delivery from Boeing.
In 2006, Shenzhen Airlines signed an agreement with Mesa Air Group of the United States to launch a joint venture regional airline, Kunpeng Airlines. This airline began flying in October 2007 with 3 Bombardier CRJ200's. The airline's goal is to grow at a rate of 20 aircraft per year for the next 5 years.
In 2009 Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group has reached an agreement to sell off its stake in a Chinese joint venture airline for a net $3.6 million. Mesa said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will sell its interest in Kunpeng to Shenzhen for $4.5 million, minus return of security deposits totaling $900,000.
On 22 March 2010, it was revealed that Air China had purchased a larger stake in the airline for 682.1 million yuan ($100 million). Air China will now hold 51% of the airline allowing Air China to have a hub in southern China. Shenzhen Investment Management will also invest 348 million yuan into the airline raising their stake from 10% to 25%. The Guangdong Development Bank will hold only 24% once the deals are done.