Air Guilin has its origins in Guangxi Airlines, formed in 2013 by HNA Group and the Guilin Municipal Government. This airline was renamed Guilin Airlines in 2014 and planned to commence operations in May of that year, although this did not occur. On 8 September 2015, Guilin Airlines received preliminary approval from the CAAC. In October the airline decided to use Airbus A319 aircraft for its fleet.
Guilin Airlines was renamed Air Guilin in late 2015. On 9 December it unveiled its logo, which incorporates Guilin landmark Elephant Trunk Hill and the slogan of the city. Air Guilin commenced operations on 25 June 2016 with a flight between Guilin and Zhengzhou.