China Southern Air narrows loss

Updated: 2007-04-26 09:27

Passenger Numbers

China Southern flew 12.6 million passengers in the three months ended March, filling 71.4 percent of its seats. Cargo volume rose 4.9 percent to 190,000 tons.

The airline also reported its 2006 earnings to the Shanghai stock exchange eight days ago. Chinese companies often report full-year and first quarter earnings close together as the deadline for both is April 30.

The airline posted its first annual profit in four years in 2006, helped by a stronger yuan and increased traffic. Net income was 188 million yuan, compared with a year-earlier loss of 1.85 billion yuan. The carrier operated a fleet of 309 aircraft at the end of last year.

Overall passenger numbers in China rose 16 percent to 40.9 million in the first quarter, according to the General Administration of Civil Aviation. The country's economy grew 11.1 percent in the period, boosting travel demand.

Shares of China Southern fell 3.3 percent to HK$3.50 in Hong Kong yesterday. The stock has gained 11 percent this year, compared with an 19 percent gain in the 16-member Bloomberg Asia Pacific Airlines Index. The airline's Shanghai-listed stock was suspended on March 23 ahead of a share reform plan.

Fuel Surcharges

China cut the levy on domestic flights of more than 800 kilometers (497 miles) to 80 yuan ($10) each way from Jan. 21. The levy on shorter flights fell to 50 yuan. That compares with 40 yuan and 20 yuan respectively a year earlier. Levies were as much as doubled from Sept. 21 last year before the Jan. 21 cut.

The price of jet fuel averaged $72.11 a barrel in the first quarter in Singapore, 4.7 percent lower than a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)