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Three Chinese Airlines Report Decline in Profits

A China Eastern 777-300ER in Los Angeles (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Following a rise in fuel prices and weak yuan, three major Chinese airlines: Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines saw a sizable drop in profits from July to September.

The third quarter income of China Eastern Airlines was 33.45 billion yuan, a 13.5 percent gain in comparison to the same period last year but the profit has slumped 38 percent. The revenue for the first nine months of the year was 87.88 billion yuan and the profit was 4.49 billion, compared to last year, it has dropped 43.3 percent.

China Southern Airlines’ third quarter revenue was 41.33 billion yuan with a 15.4 percent rise, the profit was 2.38 billion but dropped 52.4 percent. The income of the first nine months was 108.8 billion yuan and the net profit was 4.17 billion, compared to the same period last year, it has dropped 40.8 percent.

The third quarter income of the flag carrier, Air China was 38.64 billion yuan, the net profit was 3.47 billion, a 30 percent drop over the same period last year. The total revenue of the first nine months was 102.88 billion with a 12.1 percent rise, the net profit was 6.94 billion and dropped 16.2 percent compared to last year.

The major impact to the airlines is that oil prices have surged 30 percent since this year. Of course, this is not only Chinese carriers’ problem as earlier this year, IATA expected the airline’s profit forecast for 2018 to decrease by 12 percent.

With no end in sight for the trade war between U.S and China, the profit expectations of Chinese carriers were not optimistic even with a huge public demand in the country.

Pete Ainsley


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