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Old March 24th, 2006, 02:29 AM   #661
hkskyline
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Air China to borrow US$750m for aircraft
Tim LeeMaster
24 March 2006
Hong Kong Standard

Air China is seeking a US$750 million (HK$5.85 billion) loan to finance the purchase of 14 aircraft in the largest deal ever by a Chinese carrier, according to sources familiar with the transaction.

This is part of a total of US$1.5 billion that all three mainland air carriers are seeking to pay for new aircraft.

HSBC France will coordinate the two-part 10-year Air China loan since it will utilize a French tax lease, a method of financing that can reduce a company's taxable income, cutting the air carrier's cost of funding by more than half, bankers said.

Singapore's DBS Group will arrange a US$550 million portion of the loan while the remaining US$200 million will be arranged by a consortium of China's four largest banks: Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China.

Air China, the mainland's biggest overseas carrier, plans to spend US$881 million to buy six long-range midsized Airbus A330-200s, five A319-100s and three Boeing 737-700s, both smaller planes for domestic and regional routes. Air China should get cheaper pricing on the loan than the current China Southern deal, which also uses a French lease, since it is considered a better credit risk, people familiar with the two deals said.

China Southern, the mainland's largest carrier by fleet size, is expected to pay about 30 to 40 basis points over the London interbank offered rate on a smaller US$400 million loan that will finance the purchase of 13 aircraft, market sources said. Without a French lease the carrier could expect to pay about 80 basis points _ or 0.8 _ over Libor for the loan. A mandate is expected soon with BNP Paribas, Calyon Corporate and Investment Bank, Societe Generale and HSBC France favored.

China Eastern Airlines, the smallest of China's big three air carriers, is seeking a US$374 million loan to buy 11 planes. The company has mandated Societe Generale and Calyon on the 10-year loan. CEA will pick up six Boeing 737-700s at US$40 million each, three Airbus 319-100s at US$38.6 million apiece and another two Airbus 321-200s at a cost of US$55 million each.

The total bill for China Eastern is about US$465 million, sources said. Airlines typically finance 80 percent of aircraft purchases with loans. Delivery of the aircraft to China Eastern is scheduled to end in October.

To keep pace with rising passenger and cargo volume, China's airlines will buy 90 new planes a year through 2025, French-based Airbus said, while US- based rival Boeing sees them buying 115 new aircraft a year.
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Old March 28th, 2006, 04:41 PM   #662
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China's struggling Okay Airways joins with emerging rival in "strategic partnership"
By ELAINE KURTENBACH
28 March 2006

SHANGHAI, China (AP) - Two of China's newest airlines, private carriers Okay Airways and the Junyao Group, say they have agreed to share personnel, routes, marketing and management expertise as they struggle for footing in the intensely competitive, fast-growing market.

The airlines are still working out financial details of their "strategic partnership," said a spokesman for Okay Airways, who gave only his surname, Gang.

"We are going to cooperate in developing our civil aviation businesses, including introducing new aircraft models, personnel exchanges, sales and marketing," Gang said.

China's airline industry is dominated by state-run carriers, although aviation authorities have approved at least three private airlines -- including Okay and Junyao -- to begin operations, with another seven reportedly planned.

Money-losing Okay, which is based in the northern city of Tianjin, east of Beijing, began passenger services in March 2005 using one Boeing 737-900 leased from Korean Air Co., South Korea's largest passenger airline.

A spokesman for Shanghai-based Junyao Group, Wang Zhong, said his company expected to hold a controlling stake in its partnership with Okay.

"Okay will focus on freight and we will focus on passenger transport," Wang said. He said Junyao expected its new airline, called Dongbu Kuaixian, which translates roughly as "Oriental Express," to begin operations in the latter half of this year.

Reports in the state media said Junyao had registered the name "Phoenix" for its new passenger airline, but Wang said he could not confirm that.

"I'm sure our partnership will strengthen our position in the civil aviation sector," Wang said.

Junyao Group, a dairy, real estate and retailing conglomerate based in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, plans to operate regional flights from Shanghai. Since 1991 it has run charter flights between the Zhejiang city of Wenzhou, on China's southeastern coast, and the south-central city of Changsha.

State media reports said Junyao expected its alliance with Okay to help it gain a foothold in northern China.

Last month, a report said Okay expected to reach agreement soon with Korean Air on selling a stake of up to 49 percent. At the time, Korean Air's president, Lee Jong-hee, warned that the talks with Okay might collapse.

Gang said he could not comment on the status of those talks.

China's airlines carried 138 million passengers and more than 3 million tons of cargo and mail traffic in 2005, about double the amount of traffic five years earlier. China's Civil Aviation authority expects those figures to double again by 2010.
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Old March 29th, 2006, 11:43 PM   #663
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Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou Airports OK'd For A380 Jets
29 March 2006

BEIJING (Dow Jones)--China's aviation regulator has designated the main airports in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as the first in China to accommodate the new Airbus (ABI.YY) A380 superjumbo jet, a regulatory official said Wednesday.

The double-decker A380 will become the world's biggest commercial passenger plane when it enters service, scheduled for the end of the year.

Beijing Capital International Airport, Shanghai's Pudong International Airport and Guangzhou New Baiyun International Airport in southern Guangdong province, will be the main airports initially for the A380, an official at the planning division of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China said.

Local media reported Wednesday the three airports would be ready for the A380 before 2008.

Nine other airports, including Shanghai's Hong Qiao International Airport and those in Tianjin, Taiyuan, Hohhot, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Guilin, and Shenzhen, will be prepared for accommodating the A380, according to the report.

Singapore Airlines Ltd. (S55.SG), the launch customer for the aircraft, is expected to receive two A380s at the end of this year.

Major Chinese carrier China Southern Airlines Co. (ZNH) has said it plans to spend more than $134 million on an international terminal at Beijing Capital International Airport, where it will base its A380s, expected to be delivered starting late 2007.

The A380 can be designed to carry up to 853 passengers and 20 crew, although most A380 buyers that have announced seating plans said they will have 480 to 550 seats.
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Old March 31st, 2006, 09:20 PM   #664
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Virgin Atlantic Agrees Codeshare Deal With Air China
31 March 2006
Edited Press Release

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Virgin Atlantic Airways said Friday that it has agreed a new reciprocal codeshare deal with Air China (CA) to enable its passengers to enjoy codeshare connections between the services of the two carriers.

Effective on flights from July 1, the agreement with Air China means that Virgin Atlantic passengers will be able to purchase flights between London Heathrow and Beijing, complimenting Virgin Atlantic's daily flights into Shanghai.

Air China will codeshare on Virgin Atlantic's daily services between London Heathrow and Shanghai.

Tickets will be on sale from April 15, the airline said.
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 06:52 PM   #665
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China's Hainan Air sells stake in planned carrier

BEIJING, April 2 (Reuters) - Hainan Airlines , the fourth-largest Chinese carrier, has agreed to sell an 11 to 18 percent stake in its proposed Grand China Air expansion for up to $100 million, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

The buyer, Pan-American Aviation Holdings Ltd., would become the second-largest investor in Grand China Air, an airline that rapidly growing Hainan Airlines Co. Ltd. and its state parent, HNA Group, intend to form by absorbing three subsidiaries.

The stake would cost a minimum of $60 million under a framework agreement that Hainan Airlines and Pan-American signed on Saturday, the news agency said. It gave no background on Pan-American.

"We are planning to raise about 5 billion yuan ($600 million) and get Grand China Air listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange," HNA Group Chairman Chen Feng was quoted as saying.

Pan-American's capital would be in place by the end of 2006, said the president of that company, Bharat Bhise.

Hainan Airlines is part owned by global financier George Soros. Xinhua said the Soros Foundation and the Hainan provincial government had respectively invested $25 million dollars and 1.5 billion yuan ($190 million) in Grand China Air.

($1=8.023 yuan)
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 05:02 PM   #666
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China Eastern to start flying to Frankfurt from June 30 - Xinhua
3 April 2006

BEIJING (AFX) - China Eastern Airlines Corp will start flying to Frankfurt from June 30, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The Shanghai-based carrier will use Airbus A340-600 aircraft for the route, which it will fly five times a week, Xinhua said.

China Eastern plans to open over 20 new routes this summer and autumn, the news agency said, adding that the airline aims to increase its number of flights by 15 pct during the period.

China Eastern operates more than 400 international and domestic routes, Xinhua added.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 05:19 PM   #667
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I also heard that China Southern's Xinjiang Airlines subsidiary are starting flights to Tehran, Asghabad (and Seoul-Incheon) from Urumqi...cool! CZ will now be flying to ALL central asian commercial capitals: Almaty, Bishkek, Tashkent, Dushanbe, Ashghabad, Baku, Tehran.

I really want to see them expand to Kansai and Nagoya next.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 05:56 PM   #668
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfreako
I also heard that China Southern's Xinjiang Airlines subsidiary are starting flights to Tehran, Asghabad (and Seoul-Incheon) from Urumqi...cool! CZ will now be flying to ALL central asian commercial capitals: Almaty, Bishkek, Tashkent, Dushanbe, Ashghabad, Baku, Tehran.

I really want to see them expand to Kansai and Nagoya next.
China Southern Xinjiang Starts Urumqi-Tehran Charter Flights Mar 18, 2006
27 March 2006
China News Digest

China Southern Xinjiang Co, a regional subsidiary of major Chinese airline China Southern, started on March 18, 2006 flights between Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang region, western China, and Iranian capital Tehran, it was reported on March 27, 2006.

The flights will be carried out on a charter basis. The 3,390-km route between Urumqi and Tehran will be serviced by a Boeing 757 aircraft. The travel time will be four-and-a-half hours.

China Southern Xinjiang is based in Urumqi. Apart from flights within Xinjiang and in China, the airline has so far launched charter flights to Japan and South Korea and regular flights to Europe, Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East.

(Editor's note: China Southern Xinjiang had 26 aircraft in its fleet as of November 5, 2005, the China News Digest reported on November 11, 2006. Four of the planes were added to the airline's fleet in 2005, including a Boeing 737-700 added in November 2005. With the November addition, China Southern Xinjiang's passenger capacity exceeded 4,000 seats.

The air travel market in Xinjiang is characterised by clearly cut busy and low seasons. During the busy season between July and September 2005, China Southern Xinjiang was offering more than 10,000 seats daily, as some of its planes were making several flights a day.)

http://www.xjnews.com.cn
http://www.aiidatapro.com
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Old April 4th, 2006, 05:08 AM   #669
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China service expands as American Airlines flies non-stop from Chicago
3 April 2006
USA Today

U.S. airline competition for China has heated up.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines on Sunday began flying daily Chicago-Shanghai flights, marking the first service ever to China by the world's largest carrier.

American's daily 14-hour, non-stop flight creates direct competition with United Airlines' 2-year-old service on the route, and underscores the frenzy among big U.S. carriers to exploit China's explosive economic growth.

With India, China is one of the world's fastest-growing destinations for corporate travelers who tend to pay higher fares. The number of passengers flying between the USA and China grew 20% last year, vs. 2004.

"This is what the airlines have been looking for (for) decades -- double-digit growth for the foreseeable future," says Mo Garfinkle, a consultant who's been working on China service since 1992 for several airlines, including Continental. "It's the market everybody wants to be in." How U.S. carriers are trying to get a China foothold:

*Forming alliances. American and United have formed partnerships with Chinese carriers to give passengers more options to connect once they land in China. United teamed with Shanghai Airlines last month; American teamed with China Eastern.

*Chasing rights. U.S. carriers, including American and United, are lining up to compete for the right to fly seven new weekly round-trip flights starting next March. The U.S. will award the rights under a 2004 pact with China aimed at expanding service. Garfinkle expects "a dogfight."

Atlanta-based Delta is lobbying for rights to enter the China market, says Sametta Barnett, Delta's government affairs director.

She says "there is a gaping hole in the Southeast" when it comes to China service. A Delta customer outside Atlanta must now connect twice to reach China.

*Investments. Even Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group -- which flies small jets in the USA under contract for US Airways, United and Delta -- is eyeing China. CEO Jonathan Ornstein says it's considering a minority stake in a venture that would fly regional jets among China's second-tier cities.

As for its new Chicago-Shanghai competition with United, Athar Khan, director of American's Asia Pacific unit, says that there's plenty of passengers for everyone.

American expects to have full flights -- 245-seat Boeing 777s -- thanks to interest from companies such as Dell, Motorola, IBM, Nortel and General Electric.

"There's so much market stimulation right now that we don't have to worry about cutting into each others' passengers," Khan says. "It's an exploding market."
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Old April 4th, 2006, 05:12 AM   #670
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HAHA TODAY AA IN SHANGHAI !
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Old April 4th, 2006, 05:38 AM   #671
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Korean Airlines to Have 50 Lines to China

2006-04-03 15:48:52 Xinhua

Korean Airlines plans to increase the number of air routes to China to 50 within five years, a company official has said.
Deputy General Manager of the Korean Airlines' Shanghai branch C. S. Kim made the remarks at the World Travel Fair 2006 which opened here Thursday.

The Chinese market has contributed to the smooth development of the company, which reported a 15.6-percent year-on-year increase in business in China last year, said Kim.

Korean Airlines began flying to China in 1989 and currently has 30 routes to 21 Chinese cities and up to 126 flights in a week. It makes 70 flights weekly between Shanghai and the Republic of Korea, with an average occupancy of 78 percent.

The company will open its first new air routes to Guangzhou and Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong Province, Kim said.

The Korean Airlines with a fleet of 118 aircraft is one of the top 20 airline companies in the world, flying 400 flights to 90 cities in 31 countries daily.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 10:20 AM   #672
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Saturday April 8, 2:12 AM
Star Alliance to welcome Shanghai Airways to expanding group

ZURICH (AFP) - The 16-member Star Alliance of airlines is in talks with other companies to plug the gaps in its near-global network, with Shanghai Airways of China set to come onboard, senior officials said.

"We continue to discuss the advantages of the alliance with other carriers where we have what we call 'white spots', or parts of the globe where there are opportunities to improve service, such as China, India and Russia," Jaan Albrecht, the chief executive of Star Alliance, told reporters.

Albrecht, speaking at a ceremony here to welcome the alliance's latest member, Swiss International Air Lines, did not identify the carriers involved or give details of the status of negotiations.

"Don't expect us to make an announcement here and now. But believe me, we are weeks away from an announcement, not months," Albrecht said.

Vasing Kittikul, executive vice president of Thai Airways International -- one of the five founding companies of the Star Alliance -- later told AFP that the Chinese company Shanghai Airways was set to join.

"Shanghai Airways will be one of the airlines to fill up the white spots," Visang said, declining to give details of talks with companies in other regions.

Thai Airways already works closely with the Chinese carrier, as well as the Beijing-based Air China, Visang said.

"I'm going to visit Shanghai Airways at the end of this month to talk about domestic flights in China," he added.

The Star Alliance was founded in 1997 by Thai Airways, Lufthansa of Germany, Air Canada, Scandinavian Airlines and the US carrier United Airlines.

It has gradually expanded over the past decade to include Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways of Japan, Asiana of South Korea, Austrian Airlines, BMI of Britain, LOT Polish Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Spain's Spanair, TAP Portugal, US Airways and Varig of Brazil.

After Swiss International Air Lines' official accession, South African Airways is also set to join on April 10.

Albrecht said that the alliance is pushing ahead with efforts to put members together in a single terminal at airports to smooth the movement of passengers between connecting flights.

"In some airports where a change of terminals is needed, that time can run upwards of two hours. By locating in the same terminal, the minimum time can be as little as 35 minutes for some flights," Albrecht said.

The alliance has also worked to forge links between members' ticketing systems in an effort to ease online sales.

"With our business solution in place we are far ahead of any alliance competitor," said Albrecht.

He also said that the alliance is looking for ways to distribute tickets without having to pay third parties, such as travel agents.

"This costs some 2.0 billion dollars a year for our members alone," he said, adding that shifting away from traditional distribution channels could save airlines up to 80 percent.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #673
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
China service expands as American Airlines flies non-stop from Chicago
<snip>

That's great news. American Airlines is my favorite airline.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 06:32 PM   #674
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Airline sued for turning away badly injured girl
8 April 2006
South China Morning Post

Hainan Airlines is being sued for 1 million yuan after refusing to allow an injured girl to board a plane and fly for medical treatment, a decision the family says forced doctors to later amputate her right foot.

Pi Yajun was in a car in Jiayuguan , Gansu , on January 15 when the vehicle crashed and the foot was crushed, said Zhang Qihuai , a lawyer from the Beijing Lanpeng Law Firm, who is handling the case.

Within hours, the family bought two tickets for a Hainan Airlines one-hour flight to Lanzhou for urgent surgery scheduled for that day.

One ticket was for Yajun and the other for an accompanying medic, but airline staff refused to allow them to board, breaching the ticket contract, Mr Zhang said.

"By the time the airlines have sold the tickets, they have automatically entered into a contract with the passengers," he said.

Hainan Airlines refused to comment on the case yesterday, but in a statement in February denied any wrongdoing.

It pointed to air-traffic regulations that banned its 32-seat Dornier 328 from transporting stretcher-ridden patients.

Mr Zhang said both Yajun and the medic had written clearance from the hospital to fly. The carrier could have been more flexible, purely on humanitarian grounds, he said.

The girl was ferried more than 500km by ambulance to the Affiliated Hospital of the Lanzhou Military Area Command, but by the time she arrived the following morning it was too late to do anything but amputate the foot.

Mr Zhang said the family decided to go ahead with the lawsuit after Hainan Airlines turned down a settlement offer.

The family wanted 950,000 yuan to cover the medical costs and legal fees, and to compensate them for the psychological trauma.

The incident triggered an outpouring of public sympathy towards Yajun, who is recovering in Beijing and trying to catch up on her studies.

The incident also sparked an intense debate over the reputations of mainland airlines and how the carriers should respond in emergencies.

Mainland law experts have also criticised air-traffic regulations for their lack of flexibility and called for a revamp.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 04:28 PM   #675
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From the Wall street journal online:

China Opens Swath of Airspace
In Boon to Carriers
By BRUCE STANLEY
April 10, 2006

After six years of talks, China has agreed to open a corridor through its tightly restricted airspace that may save airlines a total of $30 million a year in fuel costs and trim an average of half an hour off flight times between China and Europe, according to the International Air Transport Association, the main trade group for the world's airlines.

The savings, while not huge, nevertheless could be significant given the blow that high fuel prices have dealt airlines. Moreover, creation of the route is the first of several steps the IATA wants Chinese authorities to make to unclog the country's sparse network of air corridors and prevent lengthening delays in flights to and from China's biggest cities.

The need to ease restrictions on China's airspace has gained urgency, the association says, because of the profusion of foreign airlines flying to the country and the rapid growth of China's own carriers.

More Chinese are flying than ever before, as restrictions on travel are loosened and as the nation's middle class expands. To meet China's booming demand for air travel, the government's current five-year economic plan calls for Chinese airlines to acquire about 650 new jetliners by the end of 2010, a 75% expansion in their combined fleets. An anticipated deluge of visitors to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing would add pressure on China's already-congested air routes.

The new route opens officially Thursday and will create a shortcut for airlines flying between Europe and the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, and between Europe and Manila, Philippines.

Initially, 110 flights a week may benefit from the new route, which will shave half an hour from a trip that normally lasts 12 to 13 hours, the IATA said. Carriers likely to benefit include Air France-KLM, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Lufthansa, FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc.

Although Chinese aviation authorities generally support the liberalization the IATA has sought, China's armed forces, which have ultimate control of the country's airspace, have been more reluctant. They perceive foreign airlines as a possible threat to national security and prohibit them from flying over military bases and other sensitive installations.

Only 30% of China's airspace is open to civil aviation, making China one of the world's most restricted countries. Airlines flying over Chinese territory must follow rigid and often meandering routes replete with doglegs and 90-degree turns, which means that flights take longer and burn more fuel than if they followed a straighter line.

The Chinese "are kind of in a league of their own" in terms of airspace restrictions, said David Behrens, the IATA's director of safety, operations and infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region. For example, in Australia and many other countries, jetliners can divert from their planned flight paths to detour around a thunderstorm. Chinese air-traffic controllers are much less flexible, and a severe storm can temporarily halt flights along a route over China, Mr. Behrens said in an interview.


Although military control of airspace isn't unusual elsewhere, armed forces in most other countries have cooperated more readily with the IATA to improve access to airspace, Mr. Behrens said. India, Pakistan and Iran took two years to approve new air routes, while in China, a wait of four to six years "is not uncommon," he said.

Mr. Behrens welcomed approval of the new route across western China as a sign of a more accommodating approach. "China as a whole is realizing that things are changing rapidly, and that's going to require changes in airspace," Mr. Behrens said.

An official at China's Air Traffic Management Bureau declined to comment on the agreement or on prospects for expanded access.

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Old April 10th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #676
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China Eastern Airlines Swings To Net Loss In 2005
10 April 2006

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--China Eastern Airlines Co. (CEA) said Monday it swung to a net loss of CNY467.3 million in 2005, as rising fuel costs ate into profits.

Net profit for 2004 was CNY320.7 million.

The airline's revenue last year was CNY27.45 billion, up from CNY21.39 billion in 2004.

It didn't recommend a final dividend. The company declared a final dividend of CNY0.02 in 2004.

China Eastern, one of China's three major state carriers, didn't elaborate on its results in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. However, analysts said the airlines' profitability was hurt because of a 30% rise in jet fuel costs in 2005.

But the impact of high fuel prices was likely partly offset by a CNY548 million non-cash gain on U.S. dollar-denominated debt after the 2% revaluation of the Chinese yuan last year.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 04:47 PM   #677
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China airline to sell off 20 percent to foreign carrier, after going into red

SHANGHAI, April 11, 2006 (AFP) - China Eastern Airlines said Tuesday it was in talks to sell off a 20-percent stake to a foreign carrier, after announcing that higher fuel and other operating costs forced it into the red last year.

Company president Li Fenghua said the group had been in negotiations for six months on the sale of the stake to an unidentified foreign carrier.

"I expect to sign an agreement by the end of this year, the sooner the better," Li told a press conference in Shanghai, adding he hoped to raise three to four billion yuan (375 to 500 million dollars) from the sale.

His comments came after the company, one of China's three biggest airlines, reported a net loss of 467.31 million yuan last year due to higher aviation fuel and other operational costs, a sharp turnaround from 2004.

The Shanghai-based company posted a profit of 320.7 million yuan in 2004, based on the international accounting standards reported to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

"Global crude prices have stayed at high levels since 2004, raising the cost to the world's aviation sector and our company as well," the airline said in its results statement.

China Eastern recorded overall operating losses of 2.3 million yuan last year, compared with operational gains of 1.49 billion yuan in 2004.

The steep losses were significantly worse than the 50 percent fall in profits forecast by the group, and analysts said before Li's announcement that the results would likely force the airline to seek refinancing.

"With a heavy capex (capital expenditure) burden ahead of it, an already overstretched balance sheet and fuel prices staying high, China Eastern's financial position is looking increasingly precarious," Merrill Lynch said in a research note.

"We think some form of refinancing looks increasingly necessary."

Alan Lam, aviation analyst with Guotai Junan Securities, said the carrier's results were better under Chinese accounting standards but the operational costs were much higher than forecast.

China Eastern's costs for 2005 were surprisingly high, even taking into account high international jet fuel prices, Lam said.

"Their cost control ability is worse than expected," he said.

Total operational costs surged 40.6 percent year-on-year in 2005 to 22.68 billion yuan, under Chinese accounting standards.

Jet fuel costs were up a hefty 68.4 percent to 8.89 billion yuan, while airport landing fees rose 29.2 percent to 3.72 billion yuan.

Under mainland standards, China Eastern reported a net profit of 60.47 million yuan in 2005 against 536.34 million in 2004, with sales up to 26.23 billion yuan against 19.89 billion a year earlier.

China Eastern did not provide an earnings forecast for 2006 but warned that ongoing liberalization of the domestic market would mean "intensified competition" against overseas carriers.

Despite its poor performance, the airline said it expected to expand its fleet by 27 aircraft this year, including three Airbus A330-200s and seven A330-300s, as well as seven Boeing B737-700s.

In a separate statement to the Shanghai stock exchange, China Eastern said it has signed a 937 million dollar deal to purchase 16 Boeing 737 planes, which will be delivered between 2009 and 2010.

The fleet order, part of a 70-jet contract that had been announced in November, will be funded by bank loans.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 10:52 AM   #678
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Old April 12th, 2006, 04:59 PM   #679
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China Beijing Airport 2005 Net Profit CNY908.5 Million
12 April 2006

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Beijing Capital Airport Co. (0694.HK), which operates the airport in China's capital, said Wednesday its 2005 net profit rose 21% from the previous year.

Net profit for the year ended Dec. 31 rose to CNY908.5 million from CNY749.4 million in 2004. Revenue fell to CNY3.09 billion from CNY3.13 billion.

The company recommended a final dividend of CNY0.083 per share, up from CNY0.065 in 2004.

Beijing Airport didn't elaborate on its results in a brief statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, but it is scheduled to issue a statement late Wednesday.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 02:19 AM   #680
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U.S. says China can greatly cut airline fuel use

BEIJING, April 12 (Reuters) - China could greatly improve its airlines' fuel efficiency by learning from the U.S. experience in introducing more flexible air traffic management, a senior U.S. aviation official said on Wednesday.

Robert Sturgell, deputy administrator of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, outlined initiatives that had saved U.S. airlines millions of dollars in fuel bills, including introducing greater flexibility between civil and military airspace.

He also cited satellite navigation systems that allowed for more direct routes and an air traffic management system that permitted more high-altitude flights as advances from which China could benefit.

Sturgell's remarks, given at a news conference, followed meetings with Chinese aviation officials on Tuesday, during which he encouraged them to explore innovations in air traffic management that could effect great fuel savings.

The U.S. Department of Transportation had set a goal of cutting the fuel burnt in each kilometre (mile) of flight by 1 percent a year through to 2009, which would save U.S. airlines around $2 billion in annual fuel costs, Sturgell said.

And an important factor to reaching that goal would come from greater flexibility in the allocation of airspace between civil and military use, he said, even in the United States, where more than 80 percent of airspace is for civil use.

"The U.S. government made a decision years ago to allocate the largest share of total U.S. airspace for civil aviation use," Sturgell said.

China makes much less of its airspace available for civil use, but it has begun to open up further.

The International Air Transport Association, the global industry's club, said on Monday China would this week open new routes through its airspace that would cut flying time between Europe and the big cities on its eastern seaboard by half an hour.

The association said the routes to be opened on April 13 could initially benefit 110 flights a week and save airlines millions of dollars in fuel bills.

The association, which had been negotiating with Beijing on the new routes for over five years, says that only 30 percent of China's airspace has been open to civil aviation.
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