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Old March 26th, 2009, 09:13 AM   #601
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U.S. Continental Airlines inaugurates nonstop New York-Shanghai service

U.S. Continental Airlines inaugurates nonstop New York-Shanghai service
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-26 03:25:48

NEW YORK, March 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Continental Airlines on Wednesday became the first U.S. carrier to inaugurate scheduled service between New York and Shanghai, China, with daily nonstop flights from the airline's hub at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The new service will provide daily nonstop flights in the largest U.S.-China market that today lacks daily service, linking the world's financial center and top business and tourism destination with China's center for finance and trade, according to a press release obtained by Xinhua.



Chinese Consul General in New York Peng Keyu delivers a speech during an inauguration ceremony at Newark Liberty Internaitonal Airport in New Jersey, the United States, March 25, 2009. Continental Airlines Wednesday became the first U.S. carrier to inaugurate scheduled service between New York and Shanghai, China, with daily nonstop flights from the airline's hub at Newark Liberty Internaitonal Airport. (Xinhua/Wang Jiangang)

"China is a valued international market for Continental, and we expect great success from this new nonstop route to Shanghai," said Continental President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Smisekat a ceremony specially held for the maiden flight on Wednesday.

"China remains an important business destination, with economic growth projected to continue this year despite the weakened global economy," he said. "We are proud to bring our outstanding product to Shanghai by launching this service as previously announced, even as other airlines are canceling or delaying similar routes."

With the success of the Beijing Olympics showcasing modern China to the world, and the upcoming Expo in Shanghai in 2010, Continental expects to see increased demand for service between the United States and China over time, according to the press release.



Continental Airlines President and Chief Operating Offier Jeff Smisek (3rd L front) and Chinese Consul General in New York Peng Keyu (2nd L front) cut the ribbon during an inauguration ceremony at Newark Liberty Internaitonal Airport in New Jersey, the United States, March 25, 2009. Continental Airlines Wednesday became the first U.S. carrier to inaugurate scheduled service between New York and Shanghai, China, with daily nonstop flights from the airline's hub at Newark Liberty Internaitonal Airport. (Xinhua/Wang Jiangang)

Addressing a cheerful crowd at the ceremony, Chinese Consul General in New York Peng Keyu expressed the hope that this new flight will help boost bilateral trade, tourism and even cultural exchanges between the two countries.

Continental has operated nonstop service between New York and Hong Kong since 2001 and between New York and Beijing since 2005.With the new service to Shanghai, Continental will be the only airline in the world providing daily nonstop service between New York and three Chinese cities.

Continental will operate the nonstop flight daily with a Boeing777-200 aircraft. Flight 87 will depart Liberty at 11:20 a.m., arriving in Shanghai mid-afternoon the following day at 1:45 p.m. The return flight 86 will depart Shanghai in the afternoon at 3:45p.m. and arrive at Liberty in the evening of the same day at 6:20 p.m. Flying times are approximately 14 hours and 30 minutes in each direction. The flight is timed to provide convenient round-trip connections at Continental's New York hub to more than 60 other cities throughout the United States and Canada.

Continental also offers tour packages to China through Continental Airlines Vacations.



A passenger receives a gift form an airhostess of the first nonstop New York to Shanghai flight of Continental Airlines at Newark Liberty Internaitonal Airport in New Jersey, the United States, March 25, 2009. Continental Airlines Wednesday became the first U.S. carrier to inaugurate scheduled service between New York and Shanghai, China, with daily nonstop flights from the airline's hub at Newark Liberty Internaitonal Airport. (Xinhua/Wang Jiangang)

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Old March 27th, 2009, 09:24 AM   #602
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Chinese cargo planes have weird color schemes imo. Whats up with so many red and yellow color schemes lately. UGH.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 01:29 PM   #603
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Reports: Grounded carrier China East Star airline chief detained
19 March 2009

SHANGHAI (AP) - The president of one of China's struggling private air carriers, East Star Airlines, has been detained by police while allegedly trying to flee the country to evade huge debts, a respected financial magazine and other reports said Thursday.

Police caught Lan Shili, president of East Star, at the airport in Zhuhai, in southern China, and escorted him back to the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the airline is based, Caijing magazine reported, citing unnamed sources.

East Star is one of several private carriers that are struggling for survival amid an industry downturn that has battered even big, state-run carriers that, unlike their smaller rivals, are getting billions of dollars in government support.

Authorities ordered East Star flights grounded on March 15 after the carrier failed to pay plane rental fees to Fairfield, Conn.-based GE Commercial Aviation Services, General Electric's aircraft leasing company, according to the Wuhan city government.

An anxious sounding staffer in the company's public affairs office said Thursday they were trying to locate Lan.

"No one will tell you anything," he said, refusing to give his name as is typical of many media-shy Chinese officials.

Staff at the Wuhan police headquarters said they were not familiar with Lan's case.

East Star recently became a takeover target of Air China, the country's main Beijing-based carrier. Lan objected to the plan but was stymied over how to repay East Star's debts of over $8.8 million, Caijing said.

Air China, which has sought to acquire regional airlines with bases in cities where it faces strong competition from other big carriers, covets East Star's hub in Wuhan.

Wuhan city officials met earlier this week and endorsed the takeover plan as the only way to handle the airline's 500 million yuan ($73 million) in debts, the state-run newspaper National Business Daily reported, citing Wuhan city spokesman Tan Shizhang.

East Star, set up in 2006, was operating about 20 domestic routes from Wuhan.

Meanwhile, another private carrier, United Eagle Airlines, said it accepted a $27 million capital injection from state-owned Sichuan Airlines, which as a result gained a controlling 76 percent stake in United Eagle.

------

Associated Press researcher Ji Chen contributed to this report.
Continued from Xinhua News:
China's private airline faces bankruptcy amid huge losses
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Old March 29th, 2009, 07:46 AM   #604
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Originally Posted by zergcerebrates View Post
Chinese cargo planes have weird color schemes imo. Whats up with so many red and yellow color schemes lately. UGH.
Are you talking about the Hainan Airlines group of airlines? They all have similar liveries.
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Old March 29th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #605
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Old March 30th, 2009, 05:58 PM   #606
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China Spring Air aims to double net in '09-chairman

SHANGHAI, March 30 (Reuters) - Privately-run Chinese carrier Spring Airlines aims to double its net profit to 40 million yuan ($5.9 million) this year, banking on a low-cost operating model to lure customers despite a slowing economy, its chairman said on Monday.

Spring Airlines is expected to book 2.2 billion yuan in sales this year, up from 1.6 billion yuan in 2008, Wang Ronghua told reporters on the sidelines of an event to take delivery of an A320 single-aisle plane.

The carrier plans to take delivery of six more planes over a three-year period, increasing its fleet size to roughly 30, including leased ones, a company spokesman said.

Spring Air's debt ratio is at 40 to 50 percent, far lower than over 80 percent for many of its state-owned peers, including loss-making China Eastern Airlines .

Wang attributed Spring Air's relatively better financial situation in part to a low-cost operating model which gives the carrier a much higher passenger load factor of 95 percent compared with roughly 75 percent at many of its larger peers.

The Shanghai-based carrier, which flies roughly 30 domestic routes, will apply to the regulator to start servicing Hong Kong and Macau this year, the company spokesman said.

It is considering opening international service to Japan and Hong Kong next year if the air travel market stablises, he added.

($1=6.835 Yuan)
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Old March 30th, 2009, 05:58 PM   #607
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No China airlines have cancelled orders -Airbus

SHANGHAI, March 30 (Reuters) - European aircraft maker Airbus has had no order cancellations from Chinese airlines so far amid the global industry downturn, its China president said on Monday.

China's three biggest carriers have all predicted losses for 2008 as a slowing economy curbs air travel, spurring the government to encourage cancellation or postponement in deliveries of plane orders.

A few Chinese airlines have asked for delays in taking delivery of previous orders but none has cancelled, Laurence Barron told Reuters on the sidelines of an event to mark the delivery of an A320 single-aisle plane to China's privately owned Spring Airlines.

"We have some discussions to help certain airlines get through the difficult period, but we are talking about a relatively small number of aircraft. We don't have any significant problem at the moment in delivering our aircraft," Barron said.

The president of China Eastern Airlines Corp , which has forecast a significant loss for 2008, said in February the carrier intended to cancel or delay half of the 29 planes it had expected to receive from Airbus and Boeing this year, its president Ma Xulun said in February.

Smaller rival Shanghai Airlines , which remained in the red for a second straight year in 2008, is in discussions with Boeing on whether to accept a 787 Dreamliner ordered previously, its chairman Zhou Chi told reporters last week.

Some Chinese airline executives have blamed their operational difficulties in part on an over-supply of new aircraft, which significantly pushed up debt ratios.

Barron said it was hard to predict precisely when the air travel market in China would stablise but he expected new aircraft orders would resume when that happens.

He expected the country would need about 3,000 planes over the next 20 years.

Airbus runs a joint assembly venture in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin, which makes aircraft in the A320 family.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 05:38 PM   #608
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China lowers jet fuel prices in 3rd quarterly cut

BEIJING, April 9 (Reuters) - China National Aviation Fuel Holding (CNAF) has cut its quarterly jet fuel prices to domestic airlines by about 12 percent from April 1, an industry executive said on Thursday, in its third consecutive cut to track falling global markets.

But sales by CNAF, China's near-monopoly jet fuel distributor to more than 110 airports, were up nearly 13 percent in the first quarter versus a year earlier, and are expected to maintain that growth for the whole of 2009, the industry official told Reuters.

The latest reduction of 460 yuan ($67) per tonne, which follows two previous cuts in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, brought the price to 3,530 yuan per tonne, or more than half the level six months ago.

"The price cut is due to weaker international markets. But domestic sales were barely affected by the economy," said the official.

China prices jet fuel differently from the two main transportation fuels, gasoline and diesel, which are now under a new government-set mechanism that virtually guarantees a refining and sales margin for state refiners.

Similar to gasoline and diesel, ex-refinery jet fuel prices -- which CNAF pays for its purchases from refiners -- are set by the government, which on March 25 last raised gasoline and diesel prices but cut jet fuel rates.

Wholesale prices, or the rates CNAF charges airlines such as China Eastern Airline and China Southern Airlines Co , are adjusted once in a quarter under a mechanism that has been in place since July 2006 and takes into account import costs.

The industry executive, who is familiar with CNAF's operations, said the state-run firm's aviation fuel sales to domestic airlines logged a robust 18 percent in the first quarter versus a year ago, while sales to foreign airlines fell 8 percent.

He cautioned, however, that the 18 percent rally could be distorted by the severe snow storm in early 2008 that disrupted many flights.

"Overall we were seeing a growth of 12 to 13 percent for the first quarter," said the official, adding that pace is likely to stay steady for the rest of the year.

He said CNAF's total jet fuel sales last year were 13.8 million tonnes, or 12 percent more than 2007.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 08:58 AM   #609
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China Aviation Regulator: Airlines To Post Pfts For 1Q-Report
13 April 2009

BEIJING (Dow Jones)--Chinese airlines are likely to post profits for the first quarter, the China Securities News reported Monday, citing the head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, Li Jiaxiang.

Passenger volume on domestic routes rose 15.8% in March from a year earlier, the paper said, after rising 21.3% in January and 17% in February.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 12:33 PM   #610
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China Southern Airlines posts 706 mln dlr net loss in '08
15 April 2009
Agence France Presse

China Southern Airlines said it recorded a net loss of 4.8 billion yuan (705.9 million dollars) in 2008 due to weak demand and higher fuel costs.

The country's largest carrier by fleet size said late Tuesday its performance was also hurt by the nation's severe snowstorms early last year and the May earthquake in southwest China.

China Southern, which recorded a net profit of 1.8 billion yuan in 2007, said its operating revenue rose 1.6 percent last year to 55.3 billion yuan but fluctuating fuel costs cancelled out the gains.

The airline's total passengers rose 2.3 percent last year to 58.2 million, with volume on domestic routes up 3.4 percent from year before.

But the growth was offset by a decrease in passengers on more profitable Hong Kong and Macau routes and international routes, which dropped 8.9 percent and 6.7 percent respectively.

China Southern said it had to write down the value of its fleet by nearly two billion yuan after disposing of old aircraft, while valuations for its other planes were affected by the global financial crisis.

The carrier said airlines would continue to face "tough challenges" this year amid falling international demand and overcapacity in domestic markets.

China's airlines, including China Southern, have been hit by shrinking passenger traffic due to the slowing economy.

The parent of China Southern Airlines received a capital injection of three billion yuan from Beijing last year.

Rivals Air China and China Eastern Airlines are scheduled to release their results for 2008 later this week.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 03:35 AM   #611
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China Southern Airline wants more state aid: chairman
15 April 2009

China Southern Airlines said Wednesday it wanted more state aid from Beijing after it posted dismal results for 2008 on the back of high fuel prices and weak demand.

Si Xianmin, chairman of China's largest airline by fleet size, said the firm was in talks with the central government for more subsidies after its parent received a three-billion-yuan (439 million US dollars) handout last year.

"We are a state company. Times are difficult. We hope the government will approve our strong request for more (capital) injections," he told reporters in Hong Kong.

He did not specify the amount the firm needed, but said "the more the better".

Asked about a potential merger with other Chinese airlines, Si said cooperation was more important than competition in the face of the global financial crisis.

The firm had the "sincerity to enter into partnerships with any airlines, whether domestic or international," he said.

China Southern recorded a net loss of 4.8 billion yuan in 2008 and said that as well as low demand and higher fuel costs, performance was also hurt by the severe snowstorms early last year and the May earthquake in Sichuan.

The firm, which recorded a net profit of 1.8 billion yuan in 2007, said its operating revenue rose 1.6 percent last year to 55.3 billion yuan but the fluctuating fuel costs cancelled out the gains.

The airline's total passengers rose 2.3 percent last year to 58.2 million, with volume on domestic routes up 3.4 percent from the year before.

But the growth was offset by a decrease in passengers on more profitable Hong Kong and Macau routes and international routes, which dropped 8.9 percent and 6.7 percent respectively.

China Southern said it had to write down the value of its fleet by nearly two billion yuan after disposing of old aircraft, while valuations for its other planes were affected by the global financial crisis.

The carrier said in its results statement airlines would continue to face "tough challenges" this year amid falling international demand and overcapacity in domestic markets.

China's airlines, including China Southern, have been hit by shrinking passenger traffic due to the slowing economy.

Rivals Air China and China Eastern Airlines are scheduled to release their results for 2008 later this week.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 04:00 PM   #612
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China Eastern Air Sees No Profit Till 2011; Cuts Capex
16 April 2009

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--China Eastern Airlines Corp. (CEA) said Thursday it expects its losses to narrow significantly this year as it cuts costs, but it doesn't expect a return to profitability until 2011.

The Shanghai-based airline said it hopes to reduce costs by at least 15% this year and will slash capital expenditure plans to CNY10.0 billion from CNY12.3 billion in 2008.

"We aim to cut back or put off nonessential investments this year that aren't related to our operational and safety requirements," China Eastern's newly-appointed president Ma Xulun told a news conference.

China Eastern said Wednesday it swung to a net loss of CNY15.27 billion in 2008, based on Hong Kong accounting standards, due to high fuel costs and weak passenger demand that knocked down revenue by 4%.

The carrier hopes to narrow that loss this year, then break even or show a small loss in 2010 before returning into the black in 2011, said Ma.

He said the airline hopes to receive more financial support from Beijing, though added that the government thus far has made no commitments.

Ma also said the airline is planning a net gain of just 13 planes this year to a total of 253 aircraft, compared with an original plan to take delivery of 29 new planes.

Ma, formerly president at Air China Ltd. (0753.HK), is part of a new management team put in place in December to help turn around the unprofitable carrier, with former China Southern Airlines Co. executive Liu Shaoyong replacing Li Fenghua as its chairman.

Under Liu's management, China Eastern has made a number of cost-cutting measures, including wage cuts for senior staff.

"The new management team will seek to lead China Eastern out of its difficulties as soon as possible," said Ma.

China Eastern has been the worst performer of the country's three biggest carriers. Its huge losses led the Chinese government to inject US$1.02 billion into the airline in December.

Despite the airline's heavy losses and mounting debt, Ma shrugged off concerns that the carrier is insolvent by saying that four Chinese banks have agreed to provide the carrier with a CNY46 billion credit line to support its working capital.

"So we have no problem in maintaining our operating needs," said Ma.

Ma said the airline is also in discussions with Bank of China Ltd. (3988.HK) and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (1398.HK) on establishing similar credit arrangements.

China Eastern also hopes to expedite plans to join one of the global airline alliances, which benefit members through marketing campaigns and various forms of cooperation to lure more customers.

Chief Financial Officer Wu Yongliang said all three of the airline groupings - namely Star Alliance, Oneworld and Sky Team, have approached the airline on membership. He said it will make a decision later this year.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 03:16 PM   #613
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1st China-assembled Airbus A320 to be delivered to Sichuan Airlines by June

TIANJIN, April 17 (Xinhua) -- The first Airbus A320 plane assembled in China's northern city Tianjin is due to be delivered to the domestic Sichuan Airlines by the end of June, with a test flight before that after mid-May, Jean Luc Charles, General Manager of the Airbus Tianjin assembly line confirmed Friday.

The Tianjin-based assembly company is expected to deliver a total of 11 A320 aircraft this year, and 15 in 2010. By 2011, the company will be able to produce 48 A320 planes every year, Charles said.

The second Tianjin-manufacturered A320 is to be delivered to the domestic Hainan Airlines, and the third to Shenzhen Airlines.

The remainder of the eight planes on the delivery schedule for this year were either for China Eastern Airlines or Hainan Airlines, he said.

Dong Weizhong, manager of the Tianjin Airport-based Industrial Zone Office, said the Airbus Tianjin company had so far received orders for 284 A320 planes from the Chinese market. Some of the orders are signed for delivery in 2016.

Charles said the ongoing global economic crisis had undoubtedly had an impact on Airbus, but just as one order was dropping somewhere, another one emerged somewhere else, suggesting the robustness of the China aviation market.

Charles also said the Tianjin company's products were mainly for the Chinese market, but the company did not exclude the possibility of supplying planes to neighboring markets in Asia.

According to a report by the Tianjin Airport-based Industrial Zone, China has become the world's second largest aviation market after the United States. The country is estimated to need 2,670 passenger planes in the next 20 years.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 08:08 AM   #614
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Airline shares soar on fare review
21 April 2009
South China Morning Post

Shares in mainland airlines rose as much as 17 per cent yesterday after the government instituted a new airfare pricing system designed to partially roll back some of the deep discounting that has battered industry earnings.

Under the new mechanism, the component of the base ticket price that airlines can discount has changed. In the past, the benchmark price ordered by the government and the floating component of the ticket price determined by the airlines were subject to discounting. Now airlines can only discount the benchmark portion of the ticket price, according to a report by Xinhua on its website yesterday.

As a result, an economy ticket sold by Xiamen Airlines now will be priced at 8 per cent off, compared with a 10 per cent discount previously, while a ticket formerly discounted by 15 per cent now will be sold at 12 per cent off, the agency reported.

Shares in China Eastern Airlines Corp rose 16.94 per cent to HK$1.45 yesterday while Air China climbed 8.33 per cent to HK$3.51. China Southern Airlines closed 14.05 per cent higher at HK$2.03.

"The passenger yield of Chinese carriers will increase in the single digits after the new mechanism, as opposed to a 6 per cent to 10 per cent decrease in the first quarter," said Jim Wong, a transport analyst at Nomura Securities.

Passenger yield refers to the profitability per ticket per kilometre.

Ticket prices on mainland carriers have dropped due to a slump in demand and overcapacity, with tickets discounted as much as 80 per cent. The fuel surcharge airlines were allowed to charge customers on domestic routes was slashed on January 15, adding to the woes of the airlines.

"The rise in ticket prices may dampen demand for travelling, which will lead to further cuts in airfares," said one analyst. "At the end of the day, the price of airfares depends on demand and supply."
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 01:33 PM   #615
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Air China to spend $4.4 bln capex in 3 yrs to 2011

HONG KONG, April 22 (Reuters) - Chinese flag carrier Air China sees no fundraising pressure and will spend a total of 30 billion yuan ($4.39 billion) in capital investment in the three years to 2011.

China National Aviation (CNAC), the parent company of Air China, will also look to market conditions before it decides whether to sell its 12 percent stake in China Eastern Airlines , Kong Dong, Chairman of both CNAC and Air China, said on Wednesday.

Last year, CNAC proposed to buy additional China Eastern shares at not less than HK$5 each to counter a $920 million offer by Singapore Airlines Ltd and its parent company for a 24 percent stake in the Shanghai-based company.

SIA's offer was later rejected by China Eastern's shareholders.

Dong also quashed speculation that Air China will merge with two smaller rivals, China Eastern and China Southern Airlines , to help it weather the industry downturn.

"From my point of view the merger of China's (three) airlines is not realistic," he said.

Air China has set up a subsidiary in Shanghai with the aim of boosting its share of the city's aviation market to 20 percent from 14 percent, Kong said.

The company has also moved its air cargo hub to Shanghai, to expand its business in Eastern China.

China Air cut its 2009 capital spending by up to 30 percent to 9-10 billion yuan, but continues to expand its capacity. It aimed to maintain capital expenditure at around 10 billion yuan per year from 2009 to 2011.

Shares of the company ended up 4 percent at HK$3.62 on Wednesday, beating a 2.67 percent drop on the blue-chip Hang Seng Index <.HSI>. ($1=6.828 Yuan)
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Old April 28th, 2009, 05:00 PM   #616
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China Eastern sees chance of profitability in '09

SHANGHAI, April 28 (Reuters) - Loss-making China Eastern Airlines Corp , one of the country's top three airlines, may return to the black this year due to a pick-up in the domestic air travel market, a senior company executive said on Tuesday.

After years of double-digit growth, China's airlines face strong headwinds this year as the global financial crisis weighs on air travel, pushing the industry deep into the red.

But the market has resumed its normal growth pattern, as Beijing's aggressive stimulus package to bolster economic growth lifted consumer confidence and boosted air travel.

"We have a chance to significantly cut our losses this year. We may even strive for profitability," Luo Zhuping, China Eastern's board secretary, told a briefing.

The carrier was saddled with a 13.9 billion yuan ($2.04 billion) net loss in 2008, compared with a 603.96 million yuan net profit in 2007, company data showed.

To cut costs, the carrier may consider scrapping its previous order for 9 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which has been delayed by the manufacturer, if the international travel market remains sluggish, he said.

"The timing of the delivery of the 787 could be an issue and our planning department is looking at it now. There is a chance that we would scrap the order. It all depends on the timing," Luo said.

It has already cancelled leasing contracts for seven Boeing single-aisle 737 jets, he added.

China Eastern had in February won shareholders' approval for an unprecedented 7 billion yuan cash injection from the government, more than doubling the amount its peer China Southern Airlines received.

But the carrier, which ended 2008 with a net debt per share of 2.38 yuan, needs more aid from the government.

"The big challenge we are facing now is that our debts still way exceed our assets even after the cash injection. We are applying for more," he added.

SKYTEAM

China Eastern, the only top three domestic carriers left outside any global industry alliance, is in talks to join the SkyTeam alliance and an announcement could be made in June, Luo said.

"We had promised Singapore Airlines that we will not join any alliance before our equity tie came through. Now that the deal seems out of the question, it's time for us to move on," he said.

China Eastern had intended to sell a 24 percent stake to Singapore Airlines and its majority owner Temasek Holdings [TEM.UL], but the $920 million deal was vetoed by its minority shareholders earlier last year.

Its peers Air China and Shanghai Airlines Co are members of the Star Alliance while China Southern joined the SkyTeam whose members include Air France KLM .

When asked about the government-brokered merger between China Eastern and smaller Shanghai Air, which stay in the red for the second straight year in 2008, Luo said no major progress had been made so far. ($1=6.825 Yuan)
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Old April 29th, 2009, 07:00 AM   #617
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China Eastern Seeks To Restructure Fuel Hedge Deals - Source
28 April 2009

BEIJING (Dow Jones)--China Eastern Airlines Corp. (CEA) is in talks with a few global investment banks on restructuring fuel derivatives contracts that have caused the carrier massive losses, a person familiar with the situation told Dow Jones Newswires on Wednesday.

The highly speculative financial instruments that the Shanghai-based airline has traded include "accumulators" and "extendible 3-way options," said the person who declined to be named.

A total of seven investment banks - Credit Suisse Group, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank AG, UBS AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley - have signed derivatives trading deals with China Eastern, the person said.

Credit Suisse, Goldman and Merrill account for most of the riskier derivatives contracts with China Eastern and they have proposed rearranging them by replacing the instruments with more hedging-oriented ones such as swaps, the person added.

The talks are ongoing, the person said.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 06:42 AM   #618
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Mainland airlines stick to old ways despite bid to curb ticket discounts
2 May 2009
South China Morning Post

Mainland airlines appear to have broken ranks over a bid launched last week to introduce a new uniform ticket pricing system to limit the steep ticket discounts offered by rival carriers.

A snap survey shows that China Southern Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and Hainan Airlines were last week still offering deeply discounted tickets to lure more passengers to travel by air instead of by train or car.

Shenzhen Airlines was offering discounts of up to 70 per cent on more than 50 routes starting from Shenzhen and 80 per cent on key routes from Zhengzhou in Henan province.

Hainan Airlines was yesterday offering discounts of up to 78 per cent on routes to Xian, Beijing, Haikou and Sanya over the three-day holiday starting yesterday.

One of the few airlines to fall in line with the new system launched by China TravelSky Holding on April 20 was Air China.

The airline is limiting the discounts on its air fares to a maximum of 58 per cent. It used to offer tickets at discounts of up to 70 per cent.

TravelSky, which runs the ticket pricing system covering most of the country's carriers, launched the new formula on ticket prices, which introduced more bands in the discount percentage and made the fares higher on the same booking class.

However, the effort to limit the discount war appears to have failed.

"The new system is not a centralised scheme. Airlines continue to adjust their ticket prices according to their judgment on market conditions," said Zhu Songyan, a deputy manager of the commercial committee of Air China.

"Increasing ticket prices may affect passenger numbers but we are confident that customers would not only look at pricing but brand name and service quality when they choose to fly with us."

Under the new system, for example, an H class Beijing-Sanya ticket that sold at 1,850 yuan (HK$2,100) is now bid at 1,940 yuan.

However, if a passenger resists, most airlines would simply book the deal in a different booking class at a lower price.

As a result, the ticket price remained subject to market demand rather than the new mechanism, said Kelvin Lau, a transport analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research.

Lower prices are luring more travellers and domestic passenger numbers carried by the Big Three airlines increased between 13 and 28 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared with the same quarter last year, data shows.

Air China's attempt to increase its rate was to pursue higher profitability, a normal practice by airlines around the world, a transport analyst said. "However, not every mainland carrier appreciates that principle since many of them are still focusing more on volume instead of profitability," the analyst said.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 09:15 AM   #619
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China Eastern to sell two aircraft to bolster cash

SHANGHAI, May 4 (Reuters) - Loss-making China Eastern Airlines Corp said on Monday it would sell two aircraft and lease them back to improve cash flows.

China Eastern has signed sales and leasing contracts with Bank of Communications Finance Leasing Co Ltd for two Airbus A340 jets, the carrier said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

China Eastern will sell the two planes around their combined book value of about 590 million yuan ($86 million), and will pay about 17 million yuan each quarter to lease them back over the next five years.

China Eastern said last month that it may consider scrapping its previous order for nine Boeing 787 Dreamliners if the international travel market remained sluggish.

The Shanghai-based company, which already cancelled leasing contracts for seven Boeing single-aisle 737 jets, has said it may return to the black this year due to a pick-up in the domestic air travel market.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 08:49 AM   #620
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Chinese Hainan Airlines reduces the number of planes ordered from Embraer
4 May 2009

SAO PAULO (AP) - Embraer says Chinese airline Hainan Airlines Co. will reduce by half its order for passenger jets from the Brazilian plane maker.

A spokesman for Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA says Hainan Airlines will reduce its order of Embraer ER145 passenger jets from 50 to 25. The airline has already received 12 planes.

The spokesman said Monday the planes are now expected to be delivered in 2011 instead of the end of 2010. He spoke on condition of anonymity according to departmental policy.

The jet-maker said the August 2006 sale was made through its Chinese joint venture, Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Co. Ltd.

Embraer announced last week it lost $23.4 million in the first quarter of 2009.
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