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October 29, 2009

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Home » Business » Transport

Airlines' profits in Q3 take off

CHINA'S three main state-owned airlines yesterday said third-quarter profits surged as an economic recovery helped to boost travel.

China Southern Airlines Ltd, the country's biggest carrier by passenger numbers, said profit for the quarter ended September 30 was 284 million yuan (US$41.6 million), or 0.04 yuan per share.

That compared with a loss of 830 million yuan for the same period of last year, when Chinese carriers were hit by record high fuel prices and a decline in travel amid the global economic crisis. Results last year also were hurt by wrong-way bets on fuel price contracts.

China Southern and rivals Air China Ltd and China Eastern Airlines Ltd all reported that third-quarter revenue rose and costs fell as fuel prices eased. Travel was boosted by a rebound in China's economic growth, which accelerated to 8.9 percent in the third quarter over a year earlier.

Air China said quarterly profit jumped to 884 million yuan, or 0.40 yuan per share, rebounding from a 1.94-billion-yuan loss in the same period last year.

China Eastern Airlines in Shanghai reported quarterly profit of 23 million yuan, or 0.003 yuan per share. That was an improvement over China Eastern's record-setting 2.33 billion yuan loss in the same period of last year.

Guangzhou-based China Southern said its costs fell 9.7 percent, while Beijing-based Air China reported a 10.6-percent fall in costs.


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