The airline was established in Hong Kong in 1985 on the initiative of Kuang-Piu Chao, the airline"s present honorary chairman, as a subsidiary of Hong Kong Macau International Investment Co and started operations the same year. In 1987, the airline became the first Hong Kong-based airline to join as an active member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Due to the large rival Cathay pacific, Dragonair was forced into accepting fewer routes, focusing on the mainland China during the early beginnings.
During the 1990s, the company witnessed many changes in the distribution of shares, with the last one took place in April 1996, when China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) purchased 35.86 percent of Dragonair and became the largest shareholder, with Cathay Pacific and Swire retaining 25.50 percent, CITIC Pacific retaining 28.50 percent and the Chao family retaining 5.02 percent. CNAC"s holding was further increased to 43 percent when it was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on 17 December 1997.
2000s was the time for operational expansion, with new international routes. In 2006, Dragonair became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific after completion of a major shareholding realignment involving Cathay Pacific, Air China, CNAC, CITIC Pacific and Swire Pacific. Since then, there has been service integration and the airline became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific on 1 December 2008.
About the airline
Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited, operating as Dragonair, is an international airline and flag carrier headquartered in Hong Kong; with its corporate headquarters, Dragonair House and main hub at Hong Kong International Airport. Dragonair is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong"s flag carrier, Cathay Pacific, and is an affiliate member of the Oneworld airline alliance.
The airline operates a scheduled passenger network to 32 destinations in 12 countries and territories across Asia. Its flight network includes 18 cities in the People"s Republic of China, including major metropolitan cities of Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. Additionally, Dragonair operates to Bengaluru, Busan, Dhaka, Fukuoka, Hanoi, Kaohsiung, Kathmandu, Kota Kinabalu, Manila, Naha, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Sendai and Taipei.
It has an all Airbus fleet of 31 aircraft, consisting of 12 A320-200, 6 A321-200 and 15 A33-300.