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Old August 26th, 2005, 03:48 PM   #521
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China Southern Air posts deep H1 loss on fuel costs

HONG KONG, Aug 26 (Reuters) - China Southern Airlines, , China's biggest carrier by fleet, posted a net loss of 1.025 billion yuan ($126.4 million) for the first half of 2005 on Friday as it was hit hard by soaring fuel costs and domestic price wars.

Its first-half loss compared with a restated net profit of 469 million yuan in the same period last year. China Southern was the only major Chinese airline that was not profitable in 2004, when it reported a loss of 48 million yuan.

It was the airline's first results after consolidating China Northern Airlines Co. and Xinjiang Airlines Co.

The market had expected China Southern to report a large interim loss after the carrier issued a profit warning in mid-July, citing rising fuel prices.

JP Morgan had forecast a first-half net loss of 253 million yuan.

However, for 2005, analysts polled by Reuters Estimates expect the carrier to post a net profit of 509.4 million yuan as Beijing allowed airlines to introduce fuel surcharges on domestic flights from August and the yuan appreciated.

Without the fuel surcharges in the first half, record oil prices took a heavy toll on China Southern, which gets about 80 percent of its passenger revenue from domestic flights.

China Southern is the first of the big three Chinese carriers, including China Eastern Airlines and Air China Ltd. , to report first-half results.

Shanghai-based China Eastern, which is due to report its interim earnings on Monday, said last month that it expected a significant loss for the first half because of high oil prices.

Air China, which plans to report results on Sept. 5, benefits from a fuel surcharge on international flights and is the leader among mainland majors in terms of capacity utilisation and a big beneficiary of robust outbound tourism, analysts said.

Spiralling fuel costs and large aircraft orders made by China Southern earlier this year will put pressure on the carrier's cash reserves, they added.

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. , the most profitable airline in Asia, warned earlier this month that energy costs could hurt second-half results even more than the first half.

It reported a 5.7 percent slip in interim earnings to HK$1.67 billion ($214 million).

Based on Reuters data, China Southern trades at 15 times projected 2005 earnings, higher than Cathay's 11 times, while China Eastern and Air China trade at 16 and 12 times, respectively.

Shares of China Southern have lost about 29 percent so far this year through Thursday's close as oil prices rose. The stock closed on Friday up 1.16 percent at HK$2.175. (US$1=HK$7.8=8.1 yuan)
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Old August 30th, 2005, 01:07 AM   #522
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Brazil's Embraer JV Delivers Aircraft To China Eastern
29 August 2005

SAO PAULO (Dow Jones)--The Chinese joint venture of Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer (ERJ) Monday delivered the first of five aircraft to China Eastern Airlines Corp. (600115.SH), Embraer said in a statement.

Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Co. is scheduled to deliver the remaining four ERJ-145 planes, equipped with 50 seats, by April 2006. The contract was signed in March.

The aircraft delivered Monday will be based in Nanjing, flying to the cities of Chongqing, Hohhot, Shijiazhuang and Zhengzhou, according to the statement.

Embraer joined forces with Harbin Aviation Industry Co. and Hafei Aviation Industry Co. (600038.SH) in 2003 to begin building Embraer's aircraft under license at a manufacturing plant in Pingfang, Harbin.

The venture has already delivered six ERJ-145 units to China Southern Airlines.

Embraer said it has invested $25 million in the Chinese joint venture to date.

The Chinese joint venture has disappointed some analysts because of slow growth. Late last year the Brazilian government secured a commitment from its Chinese counterpart to ensure there were enough orders to keep the unit busy.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 07:21 AM   #523
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Mainland airlines feel the weight of surging fuel costs
Despite increasing its revenue base, China Southern suffers 907m yuan loss
Russell Barling
30 August 2005
South China Morning Post

China's top airline groups suffered growing pains in the first six months and, with the price of oil reaching new record levels on almost a weekly basis, the state-sanctioned fleet expansions proved painful for shareholders and executives alike.

China Southern Airlines, which yesterday restated its first interim earnings since fully merging with China Northern and Xinjiang airlines, lost 907 million yuan despite expanding its revenue base a comparative 61 per cent for the period, to 17.44 billion yuan.

It restated interim earnings yesterday due to "typographical errors" in Friday's declaration.

"After restructuring, it would take the group a period of time for the benefits of business integration to materialise and for business synergy to take effect," chairman Liu Shaoyong said in a statement. "Oil prices continued to escalate, driving up jet fuel prices, which has in turn led to a substantial increase in operating costs. Meanwhile, competition in the domestic civil aviation market was very intense, leading to unstable yield."

Interim earnings attributable to shareholders were 266 million yuan last year.

Yield - average revenue generated for each passenger-kilometre flown - was the most surprising part of poor first-half performance from China's No2 carrier, according to an analyst from a European investment house.

"China Southern's fuel spend is pretty easy to calculate because they don't hedge," the analyst said. "But we had anticipated 2 per cent decline in yield on domestic services and it fell 5 per cent; we thought regional services would fall 3.4 per cent and it fell 7 per cent. Yield came in a lot lower than expected."

China Southern said its overall passenger yield was 56 fen.

Another analyst for a US bank said China Southern's interim costs had come in 800 million yuan over expectations, only 22 million of which was fuel-related.

"Non-fuel expenses were the problem. Fuel was high, but that was expected," he said. "Revenue was perfectly in line with what we were looking for."

Like most of its rivals, earnings were depleted by higher fuel costs. The average price for a barrel of jet fuel traded in Singapore - the region's benchmark exchange - rose a comparative 34.6 per cent in the first six months to US$61.68. Jet fuel closed at U$$76.80 yesterday.

Mainland carriers have to purchase fuel from state-sanctioned distributors for domestic routes, which can inflate fuel costs further.

China Eastern Airlines, reporting its first result since merging with China Yunnan and Northwest airlines, turned to a loss of 410.4 million yuan in the first six months compared with last year's revised profit of 488.7 million yuan.

The Shanghai-based airline, the country's No3 carrier, said sales rose 9.5 percent to 10 billion yuan.

The airline said it expects to return to profit in the third quarter.

Air China, the only one of China's big three airlines that did not issue an interim profit warning, reports on September 6.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 04:20 PM   #524
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China Southern Airlines buys 10 Boeing 787s - TV

BEIJING, Aug 30 (Reuters) - China Southern Airlines signed a deal on Tuesday to buy 10 Boeing 787 aircraft for about $1.2 billion, state television reported.

China Central Television did not give further details of Tuesday's deal, signed in Guangzhou, capital of the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

Early this month, China Southern, the country's largest carrier by fleet size, purchased three 787 planes from Boeing Co. as part of a larger deal involving four airlines and a total of 42 787s.

China Southern's shares skidded on Monday after it reported worse-than-expected first half results on tough price competition and high fuel costs.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 04:22 PM   #525
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China Hainan Air posts Q2 loss as fuel costs climb

SHANGHAI, Aug 30 (Reuters) - China's Hainan Airlines Co. Ltd. , part-owned by global financier George Soros, posted on Tuesday a net loss in the second quarter and warned it might remain in the red for the third as fuel costs soared.

The airline, which operates from the sun-drenched southern resort island of Hainan, lost 3.41 million yuan ($421,200) from April to June versus a profit of 34.25 million yuan a year ago, based on Reuters' calculations from previously available figures.

"Rising fuel prices pushed up costs and squeezed margins," the carrier added.

The airline carried 5.8 million passengers in the first half, up 16 percent from a year earlier, it said in a statement posted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange's Web site (www.sse.com.cn).

And second-quarter turnover rose 19.8 percent to 2.35 billion yuan on higher traffic flows. But Hainan Air forecast a net loss -- or a significant year-on-year profit fall -- for the third quarter.

Hainan Air now flies mainly to Chinese destinations, but has expanded its network to include Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Osaka and Budapest.

The chairman of Hainan Air's parent told Reuters in March that the carrier was looking at doubling its fleet size to 200 aircraft by 2010 and would change its name to Grand China Air by the end of this year, after absorbing three smaller airlines.

Rival China Southern Airlines , China's biggest carrier by fleet size, posted a net loss of 907 million yuan for the first half of 2005, hit hard by soaring fuel costs and domestic price wars.

China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd. on Tuesday reported a net loss of 471.4 million yuan for the six-month period, also blamed on fuel expenses.

Hainan Air's shares lost more than a fifth of their value in the second quarter, underperforming the market's 8.5 percent slide. ($1=8.095 Yuan)
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Old August 30th, 2005, 06:48 PM   #526
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RESEARCH ALERT-Goldman cuts China Eastern estimates

HONG KONG, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs on Tuesday cut its 2005 and 2006 forecasts for China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd. after the carrier reported a first half loss of 471.4 million yuan (US$58.2 million) on high fuel costs.

The investment bank revised its earnings estimates to 1.01 billion yuan loss for 2005 and 449.7 million loss for 2006 from profits of 665.7 million and 1.15 billion yuan, respectively.

Jet fuel costs are expected to remain high in this year and next and China Eastern's large capex commitments for aircraft purchases which would further stretch its balance sheet, it said in a research note.

JP Morgan also cut price target for China Eastern shares to HK$1 from HK$1.60 each.

Shanghai-based China Eastern saw its shares rose 1.65 percent to HK$1.23 in early trade after the results. But the stock has lost about 28 percent this year on concerns about stiff competition at home and record-high oil prices. (US$1=HK$7.8=8.11 yuan)
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Old August 31st, 2005, 07:29 AM   #527
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Lufthansa, China's Shenzhen Airlines JV to start ops early next year - report
30 August 2005

BEIJING (AFX) - Jade Cargo International, a joint venture between Lufthansa AG and China's Shenzhen Airlines, plans to begin operations early next year out of Shenzhen Baoan International Airport, the Standard reported, citing sources.

Starting next year through 2007, the air freight joint venture plans to operate six Boeing 747-400F aircraft, serving several undisclosed destinations in the US and Europe, the paper said.

In March, Lufthansa took a 25 pct stake in Jade Cargo, which has registered capital of 90 mln yuan.

Another source told the paper that Jade Cargo's launch had been delayed by the long period of ownership uncertainty surrounding its majority shareholder, Shenzhen Airlines.

In May, two Chinese investment firms, Yi Yang Group and Hui Run Investments, acquired 65 pct of Shenzhen Air at auction, outbidding Air China, which has retained a 25 pct stake in the regional airline.

The source told the paper that China Eastern Airlines and Air China are also in discussions with Shenzhen Airport officials about using the airport as a southern cargo hub, the paper said.

Shenzhen Baoan, which faces regional cargo competition from Hong Kong International Airport and Guangzhou Baiyun Airport, expects double digit cargo growth next year, according to the paper.

The report cited KGI Securities analyst, Jack Xu, as saying that if Jade Cargo based six Boeing 747s at Shenzhen Baoan, the airport would realize an additional 32 mln to 39 mln yuan of revenue per year, equivalent to three or four pct of its 2005 sales.

He added that Shenzhen Airport could count on the new carrier for up to nine mln yuan in annual takeoff fees and up to 30 mln yuan in logistics and cargo management fees.

(1 usd = 8.1 yuan)
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Old August 31st, 2005, 07:32 AM   #528
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China launches new air route to Russia
30 August 2005
Xinhua's China Economic Information Service

HOHHOT, August 30 (CEIS) -- A Chinese passenger plane left Manzhouli in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region for Russia's Siberian city of Irkutsk on August 30, marking the launch of a new international flight between the two destinations.

The Southern Airlines MD90 plane carried 144 passengers during its maiden flight, and will serve each Monday and Friday.

The new air route will help promote bilateral trade and human resource exchanges between the two countries, said Yun Guangzhong, mayor of Manzhouli, China's largest land port on the China-Russia border.
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Old August 31st, 2005, 07:26 PM   #529
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GERMAN PRESS: Germany's LTU To End China Route
31 August 2005

FRANKFURT (Dow Jones)--German holiday airline LTU will stop flying to China at the end of October, weekly WirtschaftsWoche reports Wednesday, citing industry sources.

The magazine said the route isn't profitable enough for the airline. Since May 2004, LTU has been flying three times a week from Duesseldorf to Bejing, and two times a week to Shanghai.

Magazine Web site: http://www.wiwo.de
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 03:55 AM   #530
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China’s air companies transport 28 million passengers in summer
Xinhua's China Economic Information Service

BEIJING, September 1 (CEIS) – China’s airline companies transported 28 million passengers during the summer of this year, a 13 percent year-on-year increase.

The number of flights averaged 3,000 a day, with about 500,000 seats during the period. During the summer peak season, the seat occupation rate reached 75 percent in 53 major airports.

Despite the changing weather, all the airlines maintained a normal operation rate at 81.97 percent in the month of July.

Since April, the monthly passenger volume has exceeded 10 million for five months running. The strong demand is expected to last for a period of time to come.
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Old September 6th, 2005, 02:35 AM   #531
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Air China 1H Net Profit Falls 25% To CNY591.3 Million
05 September 2005

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Chinese flag carrier Air China Ltd. (0753.HK) reported Monday a 25% fall in first-half net profit, as fuel prices surged during the period.

Net profit for the six months ended June totaled CNY591.3 million, down from CNY788.4 million in the same period last year. Revenue fell to CNY16.94 billion from CNY14.77 billion.

The company didn't recommend a first-half dividend.

Air China, which was listed in December last year, didn't elaborate on its results, but is scheduled to hold a news conference Tuesday.

CSFB said in a report published before the results were released that Air China's net profit would be weighed down by high jet fuel prices. But it said it expected the airline to perform better than its competitors, which have reported losses.

Quoting the company's management, the investment bank said Air China's first-half net profit would have risen 70% on year if fuel prices stayed the same.

China's two other major airlines, China Eastern Airlines Corp. (CEA) and China Southern Airlines Co. (ZNH), reported first-half net losses of CNY471.4 million and CNY1.03 billion, respectively, due mainly to rising oil prices.
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Old September 6th, 2005, 08:11 AM   #532
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Air China says to issue 3 bln yuan debt from Wed

SHANGHAI, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Air China Ltd. , mainland China's most valuable airline, will begin to issue 3 billion yuan ($371 million) in bonds from Wednesday to fund its plans to buy Airbus and Boeing aircraft, it said on Tuesday.

The 10-year bonds, to be sold to domestic individual and institutional investors within five days, would bear an annual coupon of 4.5 percent payable on maturity and would be listed on the Shanghai stock exchange, it said in a statement.

A source told Reuters in March that Air China's parent company, China National Aviation Holding Co., had received Chinese government approval last year for the issue but had postponed it because of the airline's overseas share issue in December.

Proceeds would be used as part of the funds for buying 10 A330-200 aircraft from Airbus and 15 Boeing Co. 787s, worth a combined 29.56 billion yuan, Air China said in the statement in official China Securities Journal.

The airline, which listed in Hong Kong and London late last year and in which Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. has a 10 percent stake, agreed in January to buy the Airbus and Boeing aircraft.

China's CITIC Securities Co. Ltd. was appointed the chief underwriter, Air China said in the statement.

Boeing has predicted that China will become the world's second-largest commercial aviation market, behind the United States, within 20 years.

The company says China will need 2,300 planes over the next two decades as its increasingly well-off population takes to the air. ($1=8.0916 yuan)
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Old September 6th, 2005, 04:40 PM   #533
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Air China Plans Surcharge To Offset Rising Fuel Costs
6 September 2005

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Chinese flag carrier Air China Ltd. (0753.HK) said Tuesday it plans fuel surcharges to help offset the impact of rising fuel costs, after it reported a 25% drop in first-half net profit.

The airline's president, Ma Xulun, said in a briefing that Air China expects to book "an extra income of CNY350 million" from fuel surcharges levied on domestic routes.

Ma said Air China saved CNY87 million by cutting oil consumption in the first half, and expects to save a total of CNY200 million for the full year.

"We'll reduce our jet fuel consumption through ways such as the use of a fuel planning system and the choice of optimal flying routes," he said. He added the airline will also hedge its fuel costs.

Surging fuel prices have taken a toll on Chinese carriers. Beijing-based Air China is the only profitable carrier among the country's three major airlines, with China Eastern Airlines Co. (0670.HK) and China Southern Airlines Co. (1055.HK) swinging to losses in the first half.

It was only in June that Beijing granted approval to all Chinese carriers to impose fuel surcharges on domestic routes between Aug. 1 to Dec. 31. Prior to that, Chinese carriers were only allowed to collect fuel surcharges on international routes.

Air China could outperform its peers because the firm derives about 48% of its revenue from international flights, more than its competitors.

The company spent CNY5.1 billion on jet fuel in the first half, 40% more than the same time last year as oil prices surged. That accounted for 32.6% of the airline's operating expenses, up from 27.8% in the year-earlier period.

Crude oil was hovering at US$67 a barrel Tuesday afternoon, after recently hitting record levels of more than US$70 a barrel.

Air China hedged 4.5% of its jet fuel consumption in the first half. The company was only allowed to hedge a maximum of 30% of its jet fuel consumption this year.

Ma said he expects Air China to book a CNY400 million capital asset and foreign currency gain in the second half due to the revaluation of China's yuan.

The airline has 70% of its debt in foreign currencies, mostly in U.S. dollars.

Asked if Air China would fare better in the second half, Chief Financial Officer Fan Cheng said: "Our second-half performance generally outperforms our first half."

Alan Lam, an analyst of Guotai Junan Securities, said Air China fared better than its two rivals in controlling fuel expenses.

"The fuel surcharge available on domestic routes will also bode well for the company in the second half," Lam said.

Lam has an accumulate rating on Air China's stock, and may adjust his target price from the current HK$2.90.

Air China, listed in Hong Kong last December, Monday reported first-half net profit of CNY591.3 million, down from CNY788.4 million in the year-ago period.

Air China, 9.9%-owned by Hong Kong's dominant carrier Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (0293.HK), operates a fleet of 160 aircraft. The airline moved 12.6 million passengers in the first half, up 13% from the same time last year.

The company didn't declare a first-half dividend but expects to adopt a full-year dividend payout ratio of 15%-30%.
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Old September 7th, 2005, 05:04 PM   #534
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China Southern Airlines Leases 2 Additional A319 Planes
7 September 2005

SHANGHAI (Dow Jones)--China Southern Airlines Co. (ZNH), one of mainland China's three biggest state-run carriers, said Wednesday it would lease two additional A319 planes.

'We would lease the jets from European maker Airbus (ABI.YY) for 10 years,' said an official at the airline's public relations department, who declined to be named.

China Southern Airlines has signed a pact with HSBC Group to get loans from French bank CCF, a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings PLC, for the lease of the planes, the carrier said in a statement. The airline declined to give a figure for the loans.

The news came one day after the China Southern Airlines agreed to buy 10 A330 jets from European maker Airbus, in a deal valued at $1.72 billion at list prices.

'(HSBC Group) has provided (us) with professional financing services and capital support. The cooperation may help enhance our profile and sharpen our competitive edge on the global arena,' said Si Xianmin, president of the airline.

On Aug. 16, the Chinese carrier signed another loan deal with HSBC Group in Paris for the lease of three A319 and an A320 aircraft, the statement said.

China Southern has expanded its fleet aggressively in recent years to take advantage of the rapid deregulation of China's skies.

However, like other mainland carriers, it has suffered from a steep increase this year in the price of jet fuel, posting a net loss for the first six months of CNY907 million.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 05:13 AM   #535
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China Southern to buy 10 Airbus A330 jets - source

SHANGHAI, Sept 5 (Reuters) - China Southern Airlines, the country's biggest carrier, will sign an agreement to buy 10 A330 jets from Airbus at a listed price of $1.3 billion this week, a source close to the airline said.

The deal is part of 2 billion pounds ($3.7 billion) in contracts to be inked between British firms and China and India during British Prime Minister Tony Blair's four-day tour of the two Asian countries.

Guangzhou-based Southern Air and Airbus could sign the agreement in Beijing as early as Tuesday, a Beijing-based Airbus executive told Reuters, declining to be identified.

The catalogue price of an Airbus A330 is about $130 million apiece, although airlines usually get big discounts.

Airbus is 80 percent owned by European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. of Germany and France, and 20 percent by Britain's BAE Systems Plc. ($1=.5436 Pound)
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Old September 8th, 2005, 06:34 PM   #536
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Canada bullish on China deal
Air agreement to triple flights between both countries is part of Ottawa's Pacific Gateway strategy

Russell Barling
8 September 2005
South China Morning Post

Chinese President Hu Jintao is expected to sign a new bilateral aviation agreement during his state visit to Canada tomorrow that will triple the number of flights available to both countries' airlines, according to Canada's most senior transport official.

The new air services deal will be an addendum to a visit that is expected to see the Chinese delegation focus on the potential of future investment in energy projects, particularly near Alberta's oil sands.

The deal, to be signed in Ottawa, over a three-year phase-in period, will see the combined weekly passenger and cargo flights between the countries triple to 143.

"We have had great interest from the Canadian private sector [for the bilateral agreement], not just from Air Canada but from Harmony Airways and CargoJet," Canada's Minister of Transport Jean Lapierre told the South China Morning Post.

Mr Lapierre said he signed a supplemental "technical co-operation" agreement in Beijing this week, which focused on "the three Canadian specialties: de-icing, safety management systems and accident investigation".

With neither side likely to quickly fill its full entitlement of flights, the main deal sets the table for their carriers to capitalise on future demand for travel between the two countries.

China recently agreed in principle to add Canada to its list of approved destination status nations, which could triple Chinese visitors to Canada to 250,000 a year, Mr Lapierre said.

"China has agreed and we are negotiating the details. I am hoping they'll move fast on this one because it could boost our tourism revenues by C$450 million [$2.94 billion] a year," he said. "We would love to have that in place [for next summer]."

The deals are part of an overall strategy to position the Canadian west coast as a key gateway to North America for China's citizens and the country's manufactured goods.

Trade with China jumped 50 per cent to C$22 billion last year.

Ottawa and the four western provinces are spearheading a Pacific Gateway initiative that calls for a three-port west coast strategy with enhanced inland road and rail infrastructure to transport freight across the Rocky Mountains to cities such as Calgary, Edmonton and the United States Midwest.

A C$500 million container port is being built in two phases at Prince Rupert, 1,500km north of Vancouver, which Mr Lapierre said would cut about three days off shipping times from China.

Vancouver, where the Tung family's Terminal Systems is one of two main operators, is spending C$190 million upgrading its Fraser River port to give it an annual handling capacity of three million boxes by the end of next year.

With US west coast ports too frequently plagued by congestion and in the grip of powerful unions, Asian exporters are looking for viable alternative gateways.

But Vancouver, the biggest port on Canada's west coast, has itself suffered from labour and equipment-related delays, including a five-week truckers' strike that closed the port last month and may have cost the provincial economy as much as C$22 billion, according to the Vancouver Board of Trade.

Mr Lapierre's ministry intervened early last month to provide a 90-day licensing deal that reopened the port. But he knows it is only a Band-aid solution and has set up a taskforce to hammer out a more permanent deal.

"We need a long-term solution because we cannot have a major port shut down because one group decides to blackmail. We must have a common front with labour," he said. "We know [the Pacific Gateway strategy] is our chance to be part of [Asia's] economic revolution. Either we get smart now or we miss the boat."
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Old September 9th, 2005, 07:55 AM   #537
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Spring rolls in profit after one month
China's first low-cost carrier will take delivery of second aircraft in November

Kristine Kwok in Macau
9 September 2005
South China Morning Post

China's first low-cost carrier, Spring Airlines, is confident it has a future on the mainland after turning a profit just one month after it first took off.

Airline president Wang Zhenghua yesterday said the company was making more than 100,000 yuan in transactions daily, thanks to a huge mainland travel market.

"We invested 30 million yuan to send our first aircraft into the sky, and didn't expect to reap any profit in the first few months. Surprisingly, we are making money now, 50 days after [starting] operations," Mr Wang said.

He added that the average load factor had topped 99 per cent.

Having launched its maiden flight on July 18, Spring is one of China's three private airlines and offers tickets about 20 per cent cheaper than other carriers.

Spring has just one aircraft, a 180-seat Airbus A320, but the carrier is due to take delivery of a second A320 in November and a third at the end of the year.

Mr Wang had told mainland media he expected the Shanghai-based airline to make a profit in January after the delivery of the additional aircraft.

He said the carrier had not been deterred by surging oil prices and had no plans to impose fuel surcharges.

"We don't see the need to impose surcharge rates now. Most [mainland] people buy plane tickets with discounts of up to 50 per cent," Mr Wang said. "This shows that most people still can't afford high-priced tickets."

He explained that the relatively lower living standards of people in the Asia-Pacific region had provided huge market potential for low-cost carriers.

"An airline ticket will amount to just 0.5 per cent of the average income of a person living in Europe or America," he said.

"But it's 10 per cent to 15 per cent of a person's income in China, so not many people can afford that."

Spring offers flights only to destinations on the mainland.

However, Mr Wang said services to Hong Kong and Macau could become possible in about three years as permitted by government regulations, enabling the airline to tap into the more lucrative markets of the special administrative regions.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 05:29 AM   #538
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September 12, 2005
Boeing sells first private jet in China

SEATTLE, United States (AFP) - US aviation giant Boeing Co. said it had received its first order from China for the ultimate in capitalist playthings -- the private business plane.

The company said the Hong Kong-based operator that is buying the Boeing Business Jet wanted to remain anonymous.

"We are absolutely thrilled and confident that this order will be the first of many in the growing China market for VIP airplanes," BBJ president Steven Hill said.

"Over the next few years, we anticipate steady growth throughout Asia, and the BBJ's spacious cabin, long range and sophisticated communication systems make it an ideal airplane for that region," he added.

The BBJ is derived from Boeing's 737-700, which can seat up to 149 passengers in commercial configuration.

Private planes join other premium objects of desire tapping into demand from China's growing legion of millionaires.

Rolls-Royce Motors is reportedly planning to sell 50 of its luxury cars to well-heeled Chinese buyers this year.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 10:18 PM   #539
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Tuesday September 13, 11:54 AM
China Southern Air Says August Passengers Up 65% On-Year

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--China Southern Airlines Co. (ZNH) said Tuesday it carried 65% more passengers in August than in the same month last year.

The Guangzhou-based airline said it had 4.4 million passengers in August, up from 2.7 million in August 2004. In July, the airline carried 4.3 million people.

The airline didn't comment on the figures, which were posted on its Web site.

For the first eight months of 2005, China Southern carried a total of 29.0 million passengers, up 55% on year.

During the eight month period, the airline transported 482,170 tons of cargo, an on-year growth of 35% from 356,910 tons.

China Southern's revenue passenger kilometers - the number of passengers multiplied by the number of kilometers they fly - rose 70% in August, from a 62% rise in July.

China Southern is one of China's three major airlines. It reported a first-half net loss of CNY1.03 billion because of high fuel prices and increased domestic competition.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 02:41 AM   #540
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Air China's August Passengers 2.7 Mln, Up 9.2% On Year
13 September 2005

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Air China Ltd. (0753.HK) said Tuesday it carried 9.2% more passengers in August than in the same month a year earlier, with most of the growth coming from its domestic routes.

The Beijing-based airline, China's flag carrier, had 2.7 million passengers in August, according to figures published on its Web site.

The monthly gains contributed to a 12.4% rise in the number of passengers in the first eight months of 2005, to 18 million from 16 million in the same period in 2004.

Its passenger load factor for August, a measure of how much of the airline's available space was filled, was 78.9%, 1.3 percentage points higher than in the same month of 2004. The January-August load factor was 73.7%, up from 71.1% in the first eight months of 2004.

Air China also carried 64,225 metric tons of cargo in August, up 15.6% from a year earlier.

It carried 466,809 tons of cargo in the first eight months of 2005, 10% more than the 424,341 tons carried a year earlier.

Its cargo load factor for August was 52.4%, 3.4 percentage points higher than a year earlier. For the first eight months of 2005 combined, the cargo load factor was 53.2%, up from 52.1% in the same period of 2004.
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