MIAT Mongolian Airlines, the Mongolian national airline 100% state-owned, operates an international-only network. MIAT Mongolian Airlines operates from its primary base at Chinggis Khaan International Airport near Ulaanbaatar scheduled service to destinations in Asia and Europe.
In 1956, MIAT Mongolian Airlines was established as MIAT Mongolian Civil Air Transport Corporation with the help of Aeroflot (which is one of the two codeshare partners of the airline, in addition to Korean Air). In 1955, the first group of trainees was sent to the Civil Air School in Irkutsk, Russia. The pilots’ training successfully completed and the five An-2 aircraft that were delivered from the Soviet Union enabled the start of scheduled flights to serve Mongolian people.
In 1958, MIAT Mongolian Airlines had 21 civil air transport aircraft, 14 An-2 and 7 Il-14, that carried 11605 passengers and 363700 kg of freight and mail. During the 1960s and 1970s, the airline obtained Antonov An-24 and An-26 twin-engined turboprops.
By 1970, MIAT Mongolian Airlines was serving 130 local destinations including province centers, sums (districts of Mongolia), and collective farms. At that time, the airline was operating 4-6 flights a week from Ulaanbaatar to province centers and 2-3 flights from province centers to sums.
In 1987, MIAT Mongolian Airlines entered the international arena when the airline started its international operation with Tu-154 aircraft wet-leased in from the Soviet Union. Representative offices in Moscow and Irkutsk, Russia, and Beijing, China, were opened. Upon the expansion of its international operation, MIAT Mongolian Airlines became a member of SITA reservation system in 1990.
In 1993, a reorganization of Mongolian civil aviation, required by the development of civil air transport, an expansion of Mongolia’s international relations and the requirement to operate flights that meet international standards, led to an ordinance of the Minister of Road, Transport, and Communication on the restructuring of MIAT Mongolian Civil Air Transport Corporation thus establishing the self-dependent state-owned enterprise – MIAT Mongolian Airlines.
In August 1993, MIAT Mongolian Airlines started operations with 68 aircraft: 45 An-2, 12 An-24, 3 An-26, 1 An-30, 1 Tu-154, 5 Yu-12, and 1 B-727 aircraft. In June 1994, the 2 Boeing 727 aircraft purchased from the Republic of Korea made it possible to operate international flights with its own aircraft.
In 1996, the airline became a member of the International Air Transport Association.
In May 1998, in the framework of international and domestic fleet replacement project, one Airbus A310-300 aircraft was leased from Airbus Industrie Financial Services. The Airbus A310 was retired in 2011, after serving MIAT Mongolian Airlines for 13 years.
In July 2002, the first B737-800 aircraft was added to the fleet. Between 2003 and 2008, the An-24 and An-26 fleet was gradually retired. In April 2008, the second Boeing 737-800 aircraft leased from CIT Aerospace was added to the fleet.
In July 2008, MIAT Mongolian Airlines ceased regular domestic services in order to concentrate more on international routes. Scheduled domestic flights to Moron and Khovd were briefly resumed in June 2009.
In 2011, MIAT Mongolian Airlines signed an agreement with Air Lease Corporation to lease until 2013 two Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. The first aircraft entered service in May, with the second following in November. In June 2011, MIAT Mongolian Airlines began regular flights to Hong Kong.
In 2013, in the framework of extending its route network, MIAT Mongolian Airlines made its first direct purchase of Boeing aircraft: one Boeing 767-300ER that entered service in May the same year and two B737-800 aircraft with the Sky Interior scheduled for delivery in 2016. It was the first time in two decades when MIAT has chosen to expand its fleet by purchasing new aircraft straight from the manufacturer instead of leasing them. In 2013, MIAT Mongolian Airlines was rated a 3-Star airline by SKYTRAX.
In May 2014, a third 737-800 leased from ALC was delivered, and in September, the Beijing service was extended to continue to Singapore twice a week.
In 2015, MIAT Mongolian Airlines was flying to five destinations in Asia (Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, and Osaka) and two destinations in Europe (Moscow and Berlin). MIAT Mongolian Airlines operates a two-class service, Economy and Business, on all its routes.
In 2017, MIAT Mongolian Airlines renewed its IATA Operational Safety Audit and IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations registrations.
In July 2017, MIAT Mongolian Airlines and Cathay Pacific announced a new codeshare agreement, which will benefit the customers of both airlines. MIAT Mongolian Airlines will place its code on selected Cathay Pacific flights between Hong Kong and Singapore, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Sydney.
In 2018, MIAT Mongolian Airlines operates an all-Boeing fleet of six aircraft and flies to seven scheduled destinations, five in Asia (Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, and Osaka) and two in Europe (Moscow and Berlin). The airline also operates seasonal flights to Bangkok and Frankfurt.
Early 2019, MIAT Mongolian Airlines plans to add to its fleet a new type of aircraft. The airline has on order four Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to be delivered in 2019 and 2020, which will be used for replacement and expansion.
Since the start of operation, MIAT Mongolian Airlines aircraft were involved in several incidents and accidents. In the 1990s, four fatal accidents involving Antonov An-24 and An-26 and Harbin Y-12 aircraft killed 139 people, but no fatal accidents have occurred since 1998.