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Hainan Airlines out of red
By Yu Lu (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-01 09:33

Hainan Airlines Co Ltd, China's fourth largest carrier, reported a first-half profit as sales nearly doubled on recovering travel demand.

During the first six months of this year, it gained a net profit of 86.08 million yuan (US$10.4 million), the company said in its interim report yesterday.

The airline's earnings per share was 0.12 yuan (1.4 US cents) for the January to June period, compared to a loss of 1.34 yuan (16 US cents) per share during the first half of 2003.

Turnover jumped to 3.79 billion yuan (US$457.7 million) in the period, a year-on-year growth of 96.84 per cent, as the number of passengers carried soared 76 per cent to 4.99 million.

The carrier expects to make a profit for the first nine months of 2004, though it had a total loss of 950.4 million yuan (US$114.8 million) during the same period last year, affected by the outbreak of the deadly SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

"The main reason profit and revenue went up in the first half is because we shook off the SARS effect from last year," the airline said.

Hainan Airlines now mainly flies its 76 aircraft to domestic destinations, but it also expanded its network to include Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Budapest this year.

Earlier this month, the regional carrier set up a branch company in Urumqi, capital of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, aiming to start routes in the spacious region and also international flights to Central Asian countries.

The airline has also expressed an interest in bidding for Hungary's air carrier Malev when the State-owned carrier is privatized later this year.

Hainan Air's rivals, China Eastern Airlines Ltd and China Southern Airlines Co Ltd, last week also reported that they had climbed out of the red.

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