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Old October 20th, 2008, 11:47 AM   #501
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World's second highest airport to open this month

BEIJING, Oct 20 (Reuters) - The world's second highest airport, in an ethnically Tibetan part of China's southwestern province of Sichuan, will open this month, a Chinese newspaper said on Monday.

The airport, in the mainly Tibetan area of Kangding, is 4,280 metres (14,040 ft) above sea level, second only to Qamdo airport in Tibet at 4,334 metres.

The Chengdu Daily said China Eastern Airlines would start regular flights to Kangding before the end of October, flying from Yunnan's provincial capital Kunming to Kangding via Sichuan's capital, Chengdu.

The airport had originally been scheduled to open in May. The newspaper did not explain the delay, but Tibet and other Tibetan parts of China experienced violent unrest this spring.

The 960 million yuan ($140.6 million) airport is in a poor area near the scenic Gongga Mountains.

It is in an area so remote that Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai, writing more than 1,000 years ago, said it was easier to get to heaven.

The government hopes the airport will bring in much needed tourist dollars and investment.

The airport is designed to handle 330,000 passengers a year and can accommodate 120-seat Boeing 737s and Airbus A319s.

China has embarked upon a multi-billion-dollar programme in recent years to revamp old airports and build new ones, especially in the country's remote west, as a way of boosting the economy.

In 2006, China opened Tibet's third airport, in Nyingchi, which is nearly 3,000 metres above sea level. ($1=6.828 Yuan)
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Old October 20th, 2008, 12:51 PM   #502
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Beijing Capital Int'l Airport Sept passenger throughput up 11%


Oct. 20, 2008 (China Knowledge) - Beijing Capital International Airport Co. Ltd<694>, operator of China's busiest airfield, Friday announced it carried 5.01 million passengers in September, up 11% from a year earlier, market sources reported.

The operator said in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the cargo volume dropped 12% year-on-year to 113,000 tons in the corresponding period.

Over the first nine months this year, its passenger throughput fell 1.2 % from a year ago to 40.28 million, while cargo throughput totaled 995,000 tons, representing a year-on-year rise of 13.1%.

The company expects to float A-shares at the beginning of 2009, with plans to issue more H-shares later to fund its expansion, according to sources.

The size of the Shanghai offering is reportedly to exceed the originally planned 800 million.

The Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC), the world's third-largest sovereign fund, is the second largest shareholder of the Hong Kong-listed company with a 7.9% stake, after the controlling shareholder Beijing Capital Airport Group Corp.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:04 PM   #503
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Aeroflot, China Southern Airlines ink code-sharing agreement

MOSCOW, Oct 20 (Prime-Tass) -- Aeroflot Russian Airlines has signed a code-sharing agreement with China Southern Airlines to jointly operate the route from the city of Urumqi in northwestern China to Moscow, Aeroflot said in a press release Monday.

Under the agreement, China Southern Airlines will fly the route three times a week using Boeing-737 aircraft.

At present, Aeroflot has 33 code-sharing agreements with foreign and domestic airlines. In 2007, Aeroflots passenger traffic rose 12% on the year to 8.166 million people.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 11:07 AM   #504
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Airbus A380 super jumbo to show at China's aviation exhibition


Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger jet, will be at the 7th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition for three days.

The exhibition takes place in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai, Guangdong Province starting Nov. 4, organizers of the exhibition said.

It will be the airplane's second trip to China; it is coming from France. The A380 carried 2,000 tents this May for people left homeless by the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in Sichuan.

The super-jumbo jet, which is scheduled to arrive in Zhuhai on Nov. 3, will be on static display and will also perform flying demonstrations. Some visitors will be invited aboard.

The A380 was displayed around major Chinese cities last October.

The double-deck jetliner, developed by French aircraft manufacturer Airbus, can seat 525 passengers. It boasts energy efficiency as less than three liters of fuel is consumed to sustain 100 kilometers of flight per passenger.

Till now, eight A380s have been delivered to Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airline and Qantas Airline. Five of the planes will be delivered to China Southern Airlines in early 2009.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 11:09 AM   #505
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China considers next-generation Su-33s for aircraft carrier programme


China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is close to reaching a decision on the procurement of aircraft for its aircraft carrier programme, Russian industry sources have told Jane's.

Negotiations between the PLAN and the Komsomolsk-na-Amure Aviation Production Association (KnAAPO) in Russia have been held intermittently for several years, with the Chinese military said to be unsure whether to purchase a version of the Sukhoi Su-33 carrier-capable fighter or develop its own carrier aircraft based on the Chengdu J-10.

Russian sources have now told Jane's that under the current proposal the Russian in-service Su-33 would be put back into production and the PLAN would acquire 14 of this type to be used for the training phase of the programme.

This option will see a carrier aircraft delivered to the PLAN in the shortest possible timeframe.

The development of a new-configuration aircraft to be used in actual carrier operations would take place in parallel with this training programme.

"The next step will be to modernise the Su-33, which was first designed in the late 1980s, with a new set of state-of-the-art onboard systems," a KnAAPO representative told Jane's on the eve of the biennial Air Show China in late October. "What this new aeroplane is most likely to be is a combination Su-33 airframe with a radar, avionics and cockpit instrumentation that is a 'developed' configuration based on the Su-30MK2, and this will be the PLAN's operational version."
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Old October 29th, 2008, 11:11 AM   #506
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Two Chinese carriers post losses for third quarter


SHANGHAI (AFP) Two of China's biggest airlines reported heavy losses for the third quarter, a traditionally peak season, as weakening demand and higher fuel costs eroded their profits.

Flagship carrier Air China posted a net loss of 1.94 billion yuan (283.2 million dollars) for the period, compared with a 2.2 billion yuan net profit a year earlier, according to a filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The airline also reported a net loss of 657.3 million yuan for the first nine months of this year, compared with a net profit of 3.5 billion a year earlier.

China Eastern Airlines, the country's third largest carrier, posted a 2.33 billion yuan loss for the three months to September, after a 976 million net profit a year earlier.

It returned a net loss of 2.29 billion yuan for the first nine months of the year, compared with a net profit of 1.03 billion a year earlier.

"This is primarily due to the decrease in demand in the aviation market and the fluctuations in crude oil prices ," Air China, the country's second largest carrier in terms of fleet size, said.

It added that jet fuel costs rose by 64 percent in the third quarter from the same period a year earlier.

China Eastern said: "As the fourth quarter is the traditional off-season for the aviation industry and the demands in the aviation markets may not be revived in the near future, the company expects to record a loss for the year 2008."

Analysts said the country's aviation industry may face another gloomy year in 2009 due to the global economic slowdown , although traffic might improve mildly in the fourth quarter as Beijing relaxes strict security controls imposed since before the Olympics.

"We are concerned about fragile demand and overcapacity risks in the global recession," Ally Ma, an analyst with Citigroup, said in a note.

Shanghai-listed shares of Air China fell 0.25 percent to 3.98 yuan while China Eastern lost 0.88 percent to 3.37 yuan Wednesday morning.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #507
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Airbus' China gamble


Alongside Tianjin airport in the north-eastern coastal Chinese city is the Tianjin Free Trade Zone, a sprawling area of flat vacant land, industrial estates and the new home of Airbus's first assembly plant outside Europe.

Two buildings, for housing Airbus aircraft parts, have been completed, as has the main assembly plant. Within that plant sits what will be the first Airbus aircraft assembled in China. The A320 sits at one end of the plant and is undergoing stage one of what is a four-stage process inside the final assembly plant.

Assembly work on the aircraft began on 18 August, but when Flight International visited in September the manufacturer had yet to install the tooling for stage two to four. This first aircraft is due to be completed June next year. Sichuan Airlines will lease the aircraft, manufacturer's serial number 3591, from Chinese lessor Dragon Aviation Leasing.

Having an assembly line for its A320 family of twinjets in China puts Airbus on a stronger commercial footing in the country and gives the European aircraft-maker the potential to produce aircraft more profitably.

For China, having an Airbus factory demonstrates to the world the country can produce aircraft to an international standard. Airbus's plant will also attract investment from Airbus suppliers and other foreign aerospace companies.

China has extensive experience in aircraft manufacturing. It has been producing its own civil and military aircraft for decades and its state-owned manufacturing plants produce parts for Airbus, ATR, Boeing, Bombardier and other Western manufacturers.

WORK DIVISION

In terms of Airbus work, Xian Aircraft makes A320-family wing-boxes and electronic bay doors, Shanghai Aircraft makes A320-family cargo doors and Harbin Aircraft has secured a deal to make some composite parts, including parts for the Airbus A350 XWB.

China also has some experience assembling Western aircraft, with Brazil's Embraer assembling 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145s in a plant in north-east China's Harbin city as part of a joint-venture with China's Harbin Aircraft. And McDonnell Douglas in the late 1990s assembled MD-90s in Shanghai with the help of China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) companies. MDC's Chinese venture was a failure as only two MD-90s were built and the residual value of the aircraft suffered because they were Chinese-built.

Airbus Tianjin has sought to avoid the pitfalls that befell MDC by taking a different approach to aircraft assembly in China. While the US manufacturer relied heavily on AVIC to assemble the aircraft, with the Chinese partner producing the aircraft's main fuselage, wings, empennage and nose, the European airframer has decided to perform only final assembly in China.

All major parts are sent to China from Airbus's plant in Hamburg to Airbus Tianjin. The European aircraft-maker owns 51% of the joint venture, with the remaining 49% held by a Chinese consortium comprising AVIC and the Tianjin Free Trade Zone. Airbus Tianjin has taken responsibility for recruiting and training all the people that will assemble the aircraft in China.

The joint venture's general manager, Jean-Luc Charles, says only about 3% of Airbus Tianjin's workforce is being sourced from AVIC. Airbus Tianjin has more than 230 employees. At the end of this year the total is expected to reach 300 and by mid-2009 there will be 500 employees, says Charles, adding that of the 500 staff, 125 will be expatriates.

There will also be another 500 subcontractors who will be involved in support functions such as catering and cleaning.

"To ensure the quality for our product it is mandatory for starting of operations to have so many expatriates," says Charles. He says many of the expatriates will be quality inspectors who will help teach the local workforce.

Airbus Tianjin has been strict about who it employs locally, says Charles, adding that "our expectations are very high, so it has been difficult".

He says that only 1% of people who apply to work at the joint venture are successful. Applicants are interviewed and made to do written tests before being sent to assessment centres to carry out practical tests in workshops, he says.

PAINTSHOP EXAMINATION

One such test is in a paint workshop test centre, where Airbus has aircraft panels for applicants to paint so their workmanship can be assessed, Charles says, who adds that Chinese workers are sent to Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany for one to two years for training.

The time overseas depends on the worker's job responsibility, he says, adding that employees who agree to the training will be bonded to the company for a number of years. He says the flightline personnel will receive the most overseas training and will be stationed in Europe for two years.

Producing aircraft in China is cheaper than producing them in Europe and the fact that the aircraft are built in China means some import duties and taxes can be avoided.

Charles declines to comment on the tax situation because this matter is still subject to negotiations between the Chinese government and Airbus China in Beijing. But buyers hoping to purchase Chinese-built A320s at lower price than those charged for the European product will be disappointed as Airbus Tianjin is adamant the sale price of its aircraft will be the same as in Europe.

"The selling price is the same because it is the same aircraft," says Charles.

To ensure that buyers are fully aware of this fact, Airbus has established a company called the Airbus Tianjin Delivery Centre, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus. It means buyers will be purchasing their Chinese-built A320s from Airbus rather than Airbus Tianjin, which will transfer ownership of the aircraft to Airbus Tianjin Delivery Centre at the end of the manufacturing process. It is this centre that then transfers the aircraft title to the buyer.

Airbus Tianjin has also applied to the European Aviation Safety Agency to be an approved production organisation (POA) under the Airbus single POA, says Charles, adding that EASA officials have already started visiting Airbus Tianjin to carry out audits.

CRUCIAL CO-OPERATION

The co-operation with the Chinese authorities is also crucial to the project's success. The assembly plant itself is being built not by Airbus but by the Tianjin Free Trade Zone to Airbus's requirements. The trade zone retains ownership of the land and the buildings and leases these to Airbus Tianjin.

The final assembly plant's design, meanwhile, is modelled after the Airbus assembly plant in Hamburg, Germany. "It is a copy and paste" of the plant in Hamburg, says Charles, adding that "we have copied the Hamburg plant because it is Airbus's newest - so it already includes the quality improvements - and we have copied so as not to take risk."

Besides the assembly plant, there are other buildings such as an aircraft paintshop, two logistics centres and a building for final phase. Because Airbus Tianjin is on a greenfield site, these buildings are in the optimal position in relation to the assembly plant, says Charles.

Logistics centres, for example - where the aircraft parts are stored - are near the front entrance to the assembly plant, while the paintshop is directly opposite the rear entrance of the assembly plant.

Some of the buildings at Airbus Tianjin are still under construction and Charles says the whole plant will only be completed in May 2009. Charles says the plan is for production volume to be one aircraft a month from June 2009. The plant will then work to increase volume and reach four aircraft a month in 2011.

The factory will only be producing Airbus A319s and A320s but later it might add A321s, says Charles. Aircraft will initially all be for the Chinese market, although aircraft for other markets might later be produced at the factory.

Charles says this possibility is a long way off since China already has more than 100 A320-family aircraft on order, more than enough to cover Airbus Tianjin's eventual output of 48 aircraft a year.

Tianjin airport has agreed to grant Airbus Tianjin the slots that it requires and the airport's second runway - now under construction - will be used exclusively by Airbus Tianjin to begin with, says Charles.

He also says the Civil Aviation Administration of China has allocated some airspace that will be dedicated to Airbus Tianjin so it can use the airspace for aircraft test flights.

BROADER OBJECTIVES

Another important aspect of Airbus's investment in Tianjin is that it ties into Airbus's broader objectives. Inside the Tianjin assembly plant there are workers and experts from France, Germany and the UK assisting with this project and working alongside Chinese employees.

But despite the fact that Airbus draws on talent from around the world there is a general perception in China - and many other parts of the world - that Airbus is a French aircraft company, despite Germany and Spain also being stakeholders.

Before becoming general manager of Airbus Tianjin Charles was responsible for dealing with Chinese suppliers such as Xian Aircraft, which makes A320 wing-boxes for Airbus.

Charles says that locating an assembly plant in China is significant because "it is part of Airbus's goal to be more of an international company".

AIRBUS LOOKS TO MOVE WING MANUFACTURE

All the major parts for the aircraft are sent to Airbus Tianjin from Hamburg, but Airbus is looking at having the wings fully made in China.

China's Xian Aircraft already makes the A320 wing-box, but it then has "to go to the UK to be equipped", says Airbus Tianjin general manager Jean-Luc Charles.

He says Airbus is looking at having the wing-boxes equipped in China so they can be sent straight to Airbus Tianjin rather than incurring the expense of sending the wing-boxes via sea, initially to the UK and then from Hamburg to Tianjin.

Airbus China is now looking at whether to establish a joint venture in China to equip the wings, says Charles, adding that the other option being explored is to outsource the work to a Chinese company. Charles declines to name the parties Airbus is speaking to, but he says the work is likely to be carried out in a location between Xian and Tianjin.

If Airbus decides to have China complete all the work on the wings, it will be significant.

The wings are generally considered to be the most technologically advanced section of the aircraft. And it means China will be the first location outside the UK to do such work on A320 wings.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 11:14 AM   #508
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Boeing Projects China as World's Fastest-Growing Aviation Market
China Requires New Airplanes Valued at $390 Billion



BEIJING, Oct 29, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- The Boeing Company (BA:Boeing Co.
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BA 48.91, +6.55, +15.5%) detailed its 2008 Current Market Outlook (CMO) for the China region today, forecasting a market for 3,710 new airplanes worth about $390 billion over the next 20 years.

"China will continue to be the fastest-growing aviation center in the world, requiring 41 percent of the entire Asia-Pacific region airplane demand. This makes China the largest market outside of the U.S. for new commercial airplanes," said Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president - Marketing.
China air travel and air cargo market growth will cause China's fleet to more than triple to 4,560 airplanes by 2027 -- about as many airplanes as are in Europe today.

Single-aisle airplanes will account for 70 percent of the new purchases, driven by the world's fast-growing domestic market. Single-aisle airplanes such as the Boeing Next-Generation 737 will be the largest category, with 2,600 new airplane deliveries. Demand for intermediate twin-aisles, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 777, will result in approximately 780 airplane deliveries. When combined, the single-aisle and intermediate twin-aisle market will make up 91 percent of China's total delivery dollars.

Demand will include a limited number of large airplanes (747-size and larger) to connect China with other major world destinations. The market forecast calls for about 100 airplanes in that category.
With China's cargo markets leading the global industry, Chinese air carriers will add about 370 freighter airplanes by 2027, quadrupling its total freighter fleet size.

The Boeing 2008 forecast combines today's market environment with a long-term view that portrays how air transport will be transformed over the next 20 years. It's an outlook that indicates continued strong fundamentals underlying the need for new airplanes -- including economic growth, world trade, aviation market liberalization and new aircraft capabilities.

The detailed study enables Boeing to better work with airlines in supporting their fleet plans in conjunction with their future economic growth. The outlook facilitates Boeing's strategic plans to drive the development of new airplanes and the improvement of existing models.
Worldwide, Boeing projects investments of $3.2 trillion for 29,400 new commercial airplanes to be delivered during the next 20 years. The complete forecast is available on the Boeing Web site at http://www.boeing.com/commercial/cmo/index.html

SOURCE Boeing
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 06:02 PM   #509
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China airlines face 'cold winter' as global demand slows
3 November 2008
Agence France Presse

Chinese airlines need to be prepared for a "cold winter" of slowing passenger demand and prudent about buying new aircraft, a senior Air China official said Monday.

He Li, vice president of the state-owned flagship carrier, said the industry must adjust its expansion plans in light of a global slowdown in demand for air travel.

"Airlines need to get prepared for passing the cold winter," he told a conference ahead of the China Airshow 2008, which starts in the south Chinese city of Zhuhai on Tuesday.

"In 2008, the domestic aviation market has (experienced) fluctuations, even a slowdown, but aircraft numbers kept growing," he said.

As a result of the global slowdown, airlines needed to adjust the growth of their fleet and improve the utilisation of their existing planes, he said.

He said that Air China was already "prudent" in its attitude to increasing its number of planes from 220. But he added that long-term growth prospects for the industry in China remained good.

He said that China's strong economic growth had resulted in annual growth in passenger numbers of more than 16 percent between 2000 and 2007, but experts have warned the demand could slow to single figures.

His call came as the global aerospace industry gathered in Zhuhai, hopeful that China's aviation sector can continue to boom and offset much of the fall-off in demand that has hit airlines during the ongoing financial turmoil.

Air China has suffered a dismal year with natural disasters, visa restrictions due to pre-Olympic security concerns and high oil prices hitting its bottom line.

Last week, it reported a net loss of 1.94 billion yuan (283.2 million dollars) for the third quarter, compared with a 2.2 billion yuan net profit a year earlier, according to a filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
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Old November 11th, 2008, 06:19 PM   #510
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China Eastern: Been Grounding Jets Since April On Weak Demand
11 November 2008

BEIJING (Dow Jones)--China Eastern Airlines Corp. (CEA) has been grounding a number of its aircraft since April because of weak travel demand, spokesman Luo Zhuping told Dow Jones Newswires on Tuesday.

The Shanghai-based carrier grounds around 20 jets in its fleet of around 230 aircraft daily, though the precise number varies from day to day, Luo said, when asked about a Bloomberg report that said the airline had taken planes out of service.

It grounded the most number of aircraft in July, August and September, but there was a slight recovery in travel demand in October, Luo said, without giving further details.
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Old November 12th, 2008, 03:21 AM   #511
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Discounting makes airline travel as cheap as by train
Mainland carriers offer 80pc price cuts on domestic routes

12 November 2008
South China Morning Post

Train, plane or automobile? With mainland airlines desperate to fill up seats, travellers are increasingly finding flying a better option than other modes of transport.

Some are offering up to an 80 per cent discount on domestic routes during the off-peak season, ignoring the inevitable losses they face.

Air tickets are now priced as low as train fares on certain routes as excess capacity provokes fierce price wars.

Domestic routes are being flooded with additional seats as carriers scale down their international operations amid the global financial turmoil. Since the second quarter, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Air China began redeploying aircraft from international routes on the domestic market.

"The first priority is to fill up the aircraft no matter whether the flight is profitable or not," said an airline official.

At present, many domestic flights were loss-making as ticket prices were too low, the official said.

For example, the price of a one-way ticket between Guangzhou and Hangzhou on China Southern is as low as 210 yuan (HK$238), compared with 194 yuan to take the train between the two cities.

Private airlines tend to be more aggressive in cutting prices as their cost base is lower. Shenyang-based China Northeast Airlines is selling tickets from Shenyang to Beijing for 70 yuan per trip, a reduction of 90 per cent. That makes it even cheaper than the train fare between the two cities by at least 30 per cent.

"The outlook for the first half of next year is not good since price-cutting will continue," said China Eastern company secretary Luo Zhuping. The airline has temporarily grounded more than 20 aircraft since April. Analysts are increasingly questioning whether the price-cutting policy is a good long-term plan for the industry.

"The management of mainland airlines are more market share-oriented than profit-oriented," said an analyst. "That is because these state-owned airlines will not go bankrupt even if they rack up huge losses."

However, capacity growth in the domestic market has overwhelmed passenger numbers. Traffic rose 2.6 per cent year on year in the first nine months, in contrast to the 14 to 16 per cent growth predicted by the government.

To make matters worse, the big three airlines are scheduled to take delivery of 20 to 40 aircraft each in the next year, representing growth of more than 10 per cent in their fleet size.

Air China and China Southern said most of the new aircraft to be delivered next year were single-aisle planes for the domestic market.

China Southern said it would have a net increase of more than 30 aircraft.

Air China said some of the new aircraft would replace the older ones.

China Eastern said its fleet expansion for next year was subject to change.
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Old November 16th, 2008, 06:15 AM   #512
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Tibet airport sees first night flight after 43 years

LHASA, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- A major airport in Tibet saw its first night flight Wednesday, ending its 43-year history of daytime services.

An Airbus A319 carrying 90 passengers took off from the Lhasa Konggar Airport at 7:50 p.m., and landed at 9:35 p.m. at Chengdu's Shuangliu International Airport in neighboring Sichuan Province.

Only Air China, the country's biggest carrier, was offering night flights at the airport, said Liang Gang, of the company's Tibet branch.

"A night flight will take off from the Konggar Airport every Wednesday night for Chengdu," he said.

The Tibet autonomous regional capital, Lhasa, had been the only regional capital in China with no capacity for night flights.

At 3,650 meters above sea level, the airport, one of the world's highest and one of four in the region, had installed runway lighting to enable landings around the clock for the first time.

The lighting cost 99 million yuan (14.6 million U.S. dollars), and the project was carried out between March 15 and June 24.

"The night flight aircraft use the sophisticated RNP technology, which uses global-positioning satellites and onboard flight management systems to guide aircraft along precise flight paths," Liang said.

The airport extended its runway to 4,000 meters in 2001, in a 300-million-yuan upgrade that included a new terminal and passenger facilities. It aims to handle 1.1 million passengers annually by 2010, compared to 1.05 million in 2007.
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Old November 16th, 2008, 06:16 AM   #513
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Spending on Chinese airports to reach 250 bln yuan in 2010

BEIJING, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- China will start work on new airport infrastructure worth 250 billion yuan (36.6 billion U.S. dollars) in 2010, the nation's top aviation official said on Wednesday.

Total investment in airports under construction this year is expected to reach 100 billion after the launch of additional new projects and will double next year, Li Jiaxiang, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, told Xinhua.

The agency will increase investment on projects mainly in the southwest this year, Li said, without providing any figures.

The spending is part of the 4 trillion yuan stimulus package unveiled by the State Council, or cabinet, on Sunday to spur economic growth.

The agency planned to kickstart construction of airport infrastructure in large cities including Chengdu, Xi'an and Guangzhou and more than 40 other mid-sized cities in 2009.

It also planned to build new airport facilities in Shanghai, Wuhan and Nanjing and more than 20 other mid-sized cities in 2010.

China had 152 civilian airports as of the end of 2007. The number will reach 190 in 2010 and 244 in 2020, under a government plan released early this year.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 02:00 PM   #514
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Two China airlines to get govt aid: state media
17 November 2008
Agence France Presse

The parent companies of China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines are expected to each get three billion yuan (440 million dollars) to tide them over hard times, state media reported Monday.

The two carriers will likely get the money to offset the adverse impact of weakening demand and high fuel costs, the Shanghai Securities News said, citing unnamed sources, prompting a sharp spike in their share prices.

A number of other firms controlled by the central government are also likely to receive cash injections, the paper reported, without saying which.

China Eastern's executive director, Luo Zhuping, confirmed the carrier's parent firm had applied for government aid and its application was being processed, but declined to give any figures, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

China's three major airlines have had a bad year, with China Eastern posting a 2.3 billion yuan loss in the first nine months, while Air China was 657 million yuan in the red in the same period.

China Southern had 28 million yuan in profit for the first three quarters but it lost 810 million yuan from July to September, the report said.

China Eastern's debt-to-equity ratio has exceeded 98 percent while that of China Southern has reached more than 80 percent, the newspaper said.

All three of the carriers jumped by their 10 percent daily limits on the Shanghai stock exchange after the news broke, with China Southern rising to 3.67 yuan, China Eastern to 4.65 yuan and Air China to 3.85 yuan.
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 07:08 AM   #515
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Hoax turns back Air China flight: state media
20 November 2008
Agence France Presse

An Air China flight from Beijing turned back 10 minutes after taking off on Thursday after police received a hoax telephone threat, state media said.

Security officials at Beijing's Capital International Airport examined the plane shortly after it landed and concluded the telephone threat was a false alarm, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The flight to Hangzhou city, and another one to the same area in eastern China that was grounded amid the alarm, were allowed to fly again shortly after the unspecified threat was determined to be a hoax, the report said.
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 04:59 PM   #516
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Air China reports 454 mln dlrs in fuel hedge contract losses: report
22 November 2008
Agence France Presse

Flag carrier Air China said Saturday it was facing fuel hedging contract losses of up to 454 million dollars at the end of October as global oil prices tumbled, state press said.

In a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange, the airline said it was facing fair value losses on fuel hedging contracts of about 3.1 billion yuan (454 million dollars) as of October 29, Xinhua news agency said.

But the hedging contracts have not caused any actual cash losses and the actual loss would depend on future movements in oil prices and adjustments of fuel hedging positions, it said.

Earlier the airline, also listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, said it had booked a loss of 1.94 billion yuan in the third quarter due to weak travel demand.

Crude oil prices have plunged around 66 percent from a peak of 147.27 dollars per barrel on July 11 on concerns over a deep and prolonged recession of the global economy.

State media has reported that Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, the nation's three major state-owned carriers, were seeking government cash injections to cope with high costs and weak demand.
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 05:24 PM   #517
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First made-in-China Airbus assembled

2008-11-21


An Airbus A320 aircraft goes through the final assembly line in Tianjin, North China, November 20, 2008. The assembly work of the first China-made Airbus A320 was completed on Thursday










http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2...nt_7229723.htm
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 04:37 PM   #518
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China airlines, airports square off over fees-CCTV

BEIJING, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Chinese airports are squaring off with airlines over 4 billion yuan ($585.6 million) in unpaid fees that are impacting operations, even as the airlines stagger under mounting losses, China Central Television said on Sunday.

Chinese carriers reported an aggregate loss of 4.3 billion yuan in the first 10 months of the year, as the impact of the global financial crisis reduced passenger numbers, CCTV said. Airports reported total profits of 170 million yuan in the same period.

The unusually long report by state television comes as Air China , China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines seek government aid to cope with hefty losses from high costs and weak demand.

"Quite a few airlines are in the red and they cannot afford the payments to airports, even if they signed contracts with the airports," Wang Jian, secretary general of the China civil airport association, told CCTV.

Much of the dispute stems from contracts between airlines and airports that were not renewed on March 1, CCTV said.

"We have submitted a report to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, demanding all airlines sign service contracts with airports before the end of this year. If no money is received from certain airlines, airports have the rights to refuse service," Wang said.

Chinese airports are classified according to their handling capacity, and benchmark charges for big airports are lower than for smaller ones.

"The government and companies in the aviation industry should protect airlines. Only by rescuing the airlines, can the whole aviation sector survive," Li Yi, an aviation expert, told CCTV.

About 70 percent of the income of Chinese airports comes from the fees paid by airlines, CCTV said, adding that experts suggest the government should inject money into the airports or lower the fees for airlines. (Editing by Kim Coghill) ($1=6.830 Yuan)
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Old November 26th, 2008, 05:11 AM   #519
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China East Air evaluates fuel hedging losses-paper

SHANGHAI, Nov 26 (Reuters) - China Eastern Airlines is evaluating potential losses from its fuel hedging contracts, which could be as much as $690 million according to some reports, as jet fuel prices slumped due to the global economic slowdown, the official Shanghai Securities News said on Wednesday.

China Eastern , one of the country's top three carriers, was making the evaluations after its competitor Air China warned last Friday that potential losses from fuel hedging contracts had reached $454 million.

A China Eastern spokesman was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday morning.

Earlier this month, Hong Kong's largest carrier, Cathay Pacific , also warned of potential hedging losses of about $360 million as of Oct. 31.

"China Eastern is evaluating possible losses but would not make comments before it announces accurate figures," the Shanghai Securities News quoted a company official as saying.

The newspaper quoted unnamed reports as saying that China Eastern had suffered potential losses of $690 million, or 4.7 billion yuan, as of Nov. 14. The Chinese authorities had asked China Eastern to suspend fuel hedging business, it quoted the reports as saying.

China Eastern and the country's other major airlines are seeking government aid to cope with hefty losses from high costs and weak demand, industry sources familiar with the situation have said.

China Eastern's Shanghai-listed A shares closed slightly lower at 3.93 yuan on Tuesday in line with a market downtrend. ($1=6.826 Yuan)
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Old November 27th, 2008, 08:16 AM   #520
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State aid for China Southern, China Eastern awaits help: airlines
27 November 2008
Agence France Presse

China Southern Airlines said Thursday its parent firm had received a three-billion-yuan (439-million-dollar) government subsidy, as the nation's carriers struggle amid the global economic crisis.

China Southern, whose shares were suspended on Thursday in Shanghai, said in a statement to the city stock exchange that its parent, China Southern Air Holding CO, was considering injecting the capital into the airline.

Meanwhile, China Eastern Airlines said it was similarly seeking state aid as it faced potential losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. Its shares in Hong Kong were also suspended.

China's three major airlines have had a bad year, with China Eastern posting a 2.3-billion-yuan loss in the first nine months, while Air China was 657 million yuan in the red for the same period.

China Eastern said in its statement on Thursday that it posted 1.83 billion yuan worth of potential losses from its fuel-hedging contracts as at the end of October.

But said it had not incurred any actual cash loss due to the hedging contracts.

Any loss wold depend on future fluctuations in fuel prices during the rest of the hedging contracts' period, the carrier said.

China Southern had 28 million yuan in profit for the first three quarters but it lost 810 million yuan from July to September, according to media reports.
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