In November 2005 it was reported that Sichuan Airlines Group would invest US$4 million to acquire a 40% stake in Kunming Airlines, which would operate passenger and cargo services. Pilots would be provided by Sichuan Airlines and private investors Wang Qingmin and Wang Hui would invest in the remaining 40 and 20% shares respectively.
In December 2005 the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said it would soon approve operation of the private airline Kunming Airlines, which has a registered capital of RMB80 million, and plans to be based at Kunming Wujiaba International Airport.
As of January 2009, Kunming Airlines is 80 percent owned by Shenzhen Airlines with the remaining 20% owned by a local businessman, with a total registered capital of RMB 80 million. The new airline will receive two B737-700 and one B737-800 aircraft as well as 30 pilots and 26 flight attendants from Shenzhen Airlines.
The airline commenced operations on 15 February 2009 from Kunming to Changsha and Harbin.