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Old May 16th, 2009, 03:20 PM   #621
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Air France, China Southern Shelve Freight JV Plan - Report
13 May 2009
Dow Jones

Air France-KLM (AF.FR) and China Southern Airlines Co. (1055.HK) have shelved their proposed freight joint venture because of the economic downturn, La Tribune reported Thursday, without citing specific sources.

Air France-KLM declined to comment, the newspaper said.

La Tribune also reported there was some doubt that Alitalia would be included in the new transatlantic alliance with Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL), although the French airline expressed hope the Italian carrier would still join.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 04:55 PM   #622
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http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20...t_11395613.htm
Quote:
First China-assembled A320 test flight successful

www.chinaview.cn 2009-05-18 15:55:00

TIANJIN, May 18 (Xinhua) -- After four hours' flight, the first China-assembled Airbus A320 aircraft landed smoothly at Tianjin Binhai International Airport at 2:56 p.m. Monday, a symbol of successful test flight.

The aircraft will be delivered to Dragon Aviation Leasing in June from the Airbus Delivery Center in Tianjin and will be operated by Sichuan Airlines.

"I am confident that the plane will be delivered to Sichuan Airlines by the end of June as scheduled," said Jean Luc Charles, General Manager of the Airbus (Tianjin) Final Assembly Line Co. Ltd (FALC), after the test flight.

He also said that this A320 assembled in China unquestionably demonstrated the same quality and performance as those assembled and delivered in Hamburg or Toulouse.

The A320 FALC, which started to work in August 2008, is a joint-venture between Airbus and a Chinese consortium comprising Tianjin Free Trade Zone and China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC).

Airbus China holds 51 percent of the stakes, while the Chinese Consortium holds 49 percent.

The Tianjin assembly line, the third on top of two in Toulouse and Hamburg, is to deliver two types of aircraft of the A320 family -- A319 and A320. The A320 family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family.

"China has become more involved in the world's aviation industry," said Professor Li Yanhua from the Civil Aviation University of China, citing that the huge market potential has lured world's aircraft giants as Boeing and Airbus.

The Tianjin-based assembly company is expected to deliver a total of 11 A320 aircraft this year. Starting from 2011, the company will be able to produce 48 A320 planes every year, according to Jean Luc Charles.

"With the final assembly line here in Tianjin, we deepen and expand our industrial relationship, which is a key pillar of the internationalization strategy of Airbus," said Jean.

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.

The Airbus company estimated in last February that the Chinese mainland would need more than 3,000 aircraft between 2006 and 2025, including 180 super jumbo passenger planes.

In addition to the Tianjin assembly line, Airbus purchased 70 million U.S. dollars worth of high quality components and materials from Chinese companies in 2007 alone.

Boeing and Airbus currently dominate the world's large airplane market, and only manufacturers in the U.S., Europe and Russia own the technologies to build such planes.

China, however, is actively developing such technologies. The country set up its first ever jumbo passenger aircraft company in Shanghai in May, 2008, taking a major step forward in its large jet program.

Analysts believe that China would play a bigger role in the world's aviation industry with the Tianjin line in operation, as final assembly lines stand for a core competitiveness of aviation manufacturers.

"China is an important -- and increasingly important -- part of the global aviation family," Jean told Xinhua.

Editor: Xiong Tong
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Old May 18th, 2009, 05:17 PM   #623
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China Eastern gets 290 mln dollar govt injection: airline
13 May 2009
Agence France Presse

China Eastern Airlines said Wednesday it had received a government injection of two billion yuan (290 million dollars) to overcome difficulties amid the financial crisis.

The money will reduce the financial strain faced by China's third-largest carrier, Liu Jiangbo, a vice president of the parent company China Eastern Air Holding Co, said in a statement.

"China Eastern has recently received an injection of two billion yuan from the state," Liu said.

"Operations have maintained good momentum due to various reform measures and have improved from late last year," he said.

The latest capital injection brings the total amount of government aid awarded to the airline in the past six months to nine billion yuan.

China Eastern suffered a net loss of 15.3 billion yuan last year due to falling passenger numbers, rising fuel costs and bad bets on fuel hedging contracts.

China Eastern said last week it was selling two Airbus A340 jets for 590 million yuan to improve its cash flow.

The Shanghai-based airline said in a statement its net profit for the first three months of the year totalled 40.1 million yuan, down 81 percent from 210.8 million a year earlier.

The carrier said revaluation gains of 422.0 million yuan in its fuel hedging contracts for the first quarter on higher international oil prices help offset losses from weak travel demand.

China Eastern and its bigger rivals, China Southern Airlines and Air China, met strong headwinds last year as a slew of natural disasters and a slowing economy hit air travel.

Passenger demand has recovered thanks to Beijing's aggressive efforts to prop up economic growth, with volumes up 14.6 percent in the first quarter, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

But analysts said improved passenger numbers and the latest cash injection were unlikely to improve China Eastern's overall financial position given its massive debt, which exceeded its total assets by ten billion yuan at the end of March.

"It will lower its financial (debt-related) expenses but the impact is likely to be minimal for such a big company," said Huang Jinxiang, a Beijing-based analyst with Guosen Securities.

"Even if it managed to be profitable this year, it would be insufficient to lower its debt ratio significantly," he said.

The outlook for China Eastern and the whole aviation industry this year is now highly dependent on severity of the A(H1N1) flu epidemic, which would weakened air travel, Huang said.

"They would have swung back into profit had it not been for the flu fears," he said.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 03:28 PM   #624
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China hikes jet prices 13 pct; motor fuel next?

BEIJING, May 19 (Reuters) - China raised ex-refinery prices for aviation fuel by about 13 percent, its first hike this year as global markets rallied, fanning speculation that an overdue increase in gasoline and diesel prices could soon follow.

The increase will help lift refining margins of state refiners Sinopec Corp and PetroChina , which are beginning to feel the squeeze as crude oil extends its rally from $35 three months ago to more than $60 a barrel on Tuesday.

But it will increase costs for loss-making airlines such as China Eastern Airline that are already struggling with lower air traffic due to flu scares and the economic downturn, even though industry officials say the next quarterly adjustment in the real jet fuel rates that airlines pay may be smaller.

Sinopec spokesperson Huang Wensheng confirmed that prices would rise by 460 yuan ($67.40) per tonne to 4,020 yuan from Tuesday, but he declined to comment on whether gasoline and diesel prices might also rise soon, as many traders expect.

"Jet fuel supply has been very tight recently as its price was lower than that of diesel," a source at the China National Aviation Fuel Holding (CNAF), the country's dominant aviation fuel distributor, told Reuters. Ex-refinery prices are the rates that refiners are allowed to charge CNAF.

"The rise will give refiners more incentive to increase jet fuel production and ease pressure on jet fuel supply."

Jet fuel prices, both ex-refinery and wholesale, are set differently from those for gasoline and diesel, and have in the past been adjusted more regularly than motor fuel, but both are controlled by the National Development and Reform Commission.

Analysts said Tuesday's move may be a signal that Beijing is testing the market before moving on to more sensitive gasoline and diesel rates, after policymakers appeared to get cold feet nearly two weeks ago when NDRC cancelled an expected 9 percent rise in motor fuel prices at the last minute.

It would have been the third and biggest hike this year.

"I think the jet fuel price rise is indicating that the pressures for fuel price rises are quite strong. But the government might be hesitating due to concerns over the impact on domestic consumption," said Qiu Xiaofeng, an analyst at China Merchant Securities.

China started a new pricing scheme for gasoline and diesel from the beginning of 2009 that takes into account a basket of crude prices plus costs that warrant a fixed margin for refiners. But that formula has never been published.

The government still carefully considers political and social factors when setting gasoline and diesel rates that will affect a broader range of vocal users such as cab drivers and farmers.

"The government was worried about hurting farmers during the planting season. Aviation fuel is a small product with much smaller impact," said an industry executive who is involved in jet fuel distribution.

Jet fuel makes up only 4 percent of China's total oil demand, while diesel and gasoline account for more than half its use.

The executive said the pass-on cost on the wholesale jet fuel prices -- the rate that CNAF charges domestic airlines -- will be smaller since it takes into account the cost of imports and is adjusted on a quarterly basis.

CNAF last cut jet fuel prices by about 12 percent from April 1, in its third successive cut.
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Old May 20th, 2009, 02:28 PM   #625
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Related Video News from Xinhua:
First China-assembled A320 makes successful test flight
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 07:19 AM   #626
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Hainan Air to get $440 mln from govt, parent -paper

SHANGHAI, May 22 (Reuters) - Hainan Airlines Co , China's fourth largest carrier, will receive a cash injection of 3 billion yuan ($440 million) from a local government and its parent group, the official China Securities Journal said on Friday.

In exchange for the funds, the airline will issue about 300 million new shares each to the Hainan provincial government and HNA Group at about 5 yuan per share, the newspaper said.

Hainan Air's debt ratio will be around 81 percent after the cash injection, it added.

Hainan Air's shares have been suspended from trading since it said on May 19 that it was planning a share placement deal.

Earlier in the year, the local government of Hainan provided an 800 million yuan loan to the HNA group.

China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines have received cash aid from the Chinese government to cope with a downturn in air travel demand and volatile fuel costs. ($1=6.824 Yuan)
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Old June 1st, 2009, 01:09 PM   #627
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China Eastern Air, Yunnan province plan airline JV

SHANGHAI, June 1 (Reuters) - China Eastern Airlines Corp , one of China's three major airlines, plans a joint venture with the government of Yunnan province to bolster its business in southwest China's lucrative tourism market.

The airline said in a statement on Monday that it would own 65 percent of the venture, using its Yunnan unit as a platform, while the provincial government would hold the remainder.

The two sides have yet to work out financial details of the agreement.

The official China Securities Journal quoted China Eastern planning executive Chen Xin as saying the venture would aim to boost its market share in Yunnan province, a popular tourist destination with striking mountain and river vistas, above 50 percent by year-end, compared with the China Eastern unit's current market-leading share of 42 percent.

The venture plans to add three of Boeing Co's 737-700 aircraft to the unit's existing fleet of 37 aircraft this year, with the aim of expanding to 50 aircraft by 2011, the paper said. It also aims to expand its annual passenger volume to 8 million from 6 million.

China Eastern posted a 13.9 billion yuan ($2.04 billion) net loss in 2008 under Chinese accounting standards, as a slumping economy hit air travel demand and volatile fuel prices boosted costs. It received a 7 billion yuan cash injection from the government as it struggled with losses.

The company's board secretary told a briefing in April, however, that the airline may return to the black this year as economic stimulus measures by the Chinese government helped to spur economic growth. [ID:nSHA89946]

China Eastern's Yunnan unit was embroiled in a pilot's dispute in the spring of last year, culminating in a suspension of China Eastern's operating licences on certain Yunnan routes in April after pilots returned several flights to their departure airports in what local media described as a wildcat strike.

Two other major Chinese carriers, Air China Ltd and China Southern Airlines , also operate in Yunnan. ($1=6.827 Yuan)
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 07:23 AM   #628
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Garuda To Use Airbus For Beijing-Jakarta Route From 2010-Report
1 June 2009

JAKARTA (Dow Jones)--State airline PT Garuda Indonesia will upgrade to wide-body Airbus aircraft on its Jakarta-Beijing route from next year onward, from the smaller Boeing Co. (BA) aircraft that it currently uses, to attract more passengers, state news service Antara reported Monday.

"From the start of 2010 the Beijing-Jakarta route, and the return (route), will use wide-bodied Airbus aircraft instead of the current Boeing 737 NG (aircraft)," the report quoted Sentot Mujiono, general manager of Garuda Beijing, as saying Sunday.

Antara didn't specify the number of aircraft that would be upgraded. It didn't say where Garuda would obtain the new Airbus aircraft or what would be done with the existing Boeing aircraft currently servicing the route.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 03:23 PM   #629
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Air China to inject cash into ailing Macau unit


BEIJING (AFP) Flag carrier Air China said its subsidiary Air Macau would receive a cash injection worth 63 million dollars from shareholders to stay in business.

The net asset value of Air Macau, in which Air China indirectly holds 51 percent, stood at a negative 91.2 million yuan (13.4 million dollars) as of end 2008, the Chinese carrier said in a statement filed with the Shanghai bourse.

The only other option open was to dissolve the company according to Macau laws, said the statement.

The shareholders have decided to pump 431.2 million yuan into Air Macau by issuing new ordinary shares to existing investors and non-voting redeemable preference shares to the government of Macau, it added.

Air China itself is still waiting for a government bailout as its net loss in 2008 reached 9.3 billion yuan due to weakened demand, higher fuel costs, and misjudged fuel hedging contracts.

Chinese media reports said previously the airline made the request for an injection of at least three billion yuan.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 05:31 PM   #630
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Air Macau is going to be badly affected by the cross-strait aviation deal. They're far more dependent on Taiwan-China transfer traffic than the Hong Kong carriers. They need a viable future business plan or else will need more handouts later on.
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Old June 5th, 2009, 03:26 PM   #631
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Founder Securities: China's aviation market to post double-digit growth in 2009

BEIJING, June 5 (Xinhua) – Despite uncertainties brought about by the widespread A/H1N1 flue to the global aviation industry, China's domestic aviation market is expected to post a double-digit growth in 2009, according to a report published by Founder Securities June 5.

The report pointed out that China's aviation industry has been confronted by unfavorable factors since the end of April, including the decline of air ticket prices and the hike of jet fuel oil's ex-plant price, which was up adjusted 460 yuan per ton May 19.

In spite of that, some factors contributing towards the recovery of China's aviation industry have turned up. The demand in China's domestic flight routes continues to recover. Meanwhile, despite the rise of jet fuel oil prices in May, the price over the entire of 2009 is expected to be much lower than that of 2008, serving to hew down the thick operating costs of airline companies.

Besides, the recent rise in oil prices against the end of 2008 will lessen the fair value loss of some large Chinese airline companies from jet fuel oil hedging deals.

Founder Securities has maintained its 'overweight' rating for China Southern Airlines (ZNH.NYSE; 01055.HK; 600029.SH) and Air China (00753.HK; 601111.SH). It meanwhile suggests investors pay attention to China Eastern Airlines (CEA.NYSE; 00670.HK; 600115.SH) and Shanghai Airlines (600591.SH), which expect a restructuring somewhere along the horizon.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #632
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China launches assembly center for large aircraft program
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Old June 8th, 2009, 05:01 PM   #633
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US airlines cutting flights to China: state media
8 June 2009
Agence France Presse

US airlines are postponing or reducing services to China as air travel slumps due to the global economic slowdown, state media reported Monday.

Of the six non-stop China-US services approved in 2007, only Delta Air Lines' Atlanta-Shanghai route and Continental Airlines' Newark-Shanghai route are in operation, the China Daily said.

"All US carriers serving China have experienced much less favourable market conditions than were generally expected," said Delta in its request to cut the number of weekly flights between Atlanta and Shanghai, according to the report.

Northwest Airlines has delayed its Detroit-Shanghai service, while American Airlines has put off its Chicago-Beijing service until next year, it said.

United Airlines has also postponed the operation of its flight between San Francisco and the southern city of Guangzhou, it added.

The number of US visitors to China fell by more than 15 percent during the first quarter of 2009 from the same period last year, while business-related travel plunged by more than a third, the report said, citing official figures.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 10:27 AM   #634
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I heard good news
new opened Tianjin airline
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||CHINA|||
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Old June 11th, 2009, 08:13 AM   #635
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Cathay says merger may not create stronger carrier
11 June 2009
South China Morning Post

The consolidation of China Eastern Airlines Corp and Shanghai Airlines might not create a stronger carrier, said a top executive from Cathay Pacific Airways yesterday, commenting on a merger that could dominate the lucrative Shanghai hub.

"I don't think putting two weak carriers together would necessarily make a stronger one," Cathay chairman Christopher Pratt said at an industry forum in Hong Kong.

Cathay and subsidiary Hong Kong Dragon Airlines have more than 14 flights a day between Shanghai and Hong Kong.

It is considered as one of the golden routes for Cathay because of the high demand for business traffic on it. The economic downturn, however, has dampened demand on the route, forcing Dragonair to use smaller aircraft - the 150-seater Airbus 320 - to fly some of the flights.

"Shanghai is very important to us and we are watching closely," Mr Pratt said.

As for remarks by Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew about resuming talks between Singapore Airlines and China Eastern, Mr Pratt cast doubt on the synergy of the cross-border shareholding between the two. However, Cathay and Air China also have a cross-shareholding relationship.

"Cathay has an excellent relationship with Air China and has co-operation in many ways," Mr Pratt (left) said. "Could [SIA] do the same with a Shanghai-based carrier? I don't know. It seems to me there would be some clash in culture, but it's not for me to say more about it."

The parent firm of Air China, with the backing of Cathay, derailed the alliance between SIA and China Eastern last year by offering a higher bid.

When asked what Cathay would do if SIA revisited its tie-up plan with China Eastern, Mr Pratt said: "We'd do nothing, but it's interesting to see what Air China's response would be. We will do nothing."

Air China's parent still owns an 11 per cent stake in the H shares of China Eastern. It is uncertain whether any strategic moves involving China Eastern would be blocked by Air China again.

"The consolidation between China Eastern and Shanghai Air is driven by the government, in which Air China might not have much say," said Karen Chan, a transport analyst at RCM.

Ms Chan said any cross-border equity tie-up in China Eastern should wait until the completion of the merger, which will not be done in the short term. "The tie-up with SIA may not be necessary if the new entity is doing well, and it is not easy to revive an alliance, given that there's been no [regulatory] change since the collapse of the previous deal."
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Old June 12th, 2009, 02:05 PM   #636
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I think it is safe to say that both China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines need to step up their game. There's really no reason for them not to become as successful and respected as the likes of Cathay Pacific in the long run.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #637
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I heard good news
new opened Tianjin airline
Related Xinhua News:
Newly-launched Tianjin Airlines makes first flight
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Old June 13th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #638
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Yes, You are that right!!
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||CHINA|||
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Old June 14th, 2009, 07:02 PM   #639
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China Eastern, Shanghai Air agree major merger terms

SHANGHAI, June 13 (Reuters) - China Eastern Airlines and its smaller rival Shanghai Airlines have reached agreement in principle on major issues for a merger, a senior airline executive said on Saturday.

China Eastern's Chairman Liu Shaoyong told reporters on the sidelines of a shareholders' meeting that he hoped to complete the merger as quickly as possible but that it was difficult to predict the timing.

The two airlines have formed a task force to steer the merger and will submit an outline to shareholders in about 20 days, Liu who is heading the task force, said.

The combined entity will have more than a 50 percent share of the Shanghai air passenger market, Liu said.

The airline will also not cut staff following the merger.

China's airlines are grappling with weakening air travel demand and rising competition after years of double-digit growth.

The country's top three carriers, Air China , China Southern Airlines and China Eastern lost more than $4 billion in 2008. [ID:nSHA21260]

Shanghai Air, which has been in the red for two straight years since 2007, will be delisted if it fails to turn around this year, according to China's securities rules.

Sources familiar with the situation told Reuters in October the government was discussing the possibility of a merger of the two Shanghai-based carriers to create a dominant player with more than 50 percent share of domestic flights in China's financial hub.

Conflict of interest between different government bodies and rejection from Shanghai Air had postponed the deal, but talks began to speed up after the debt-ridden carriers got financial aid from the government, an industry source said.

Analysts are positive about the merger as it will give the carriers, which have been locked in a fight for years, an opportunity to work together to fend off outside rivals.

On whether China Eastern had resumed discussions with Singapore Airlines , Liu said: "We are open to any overseas investors, financial investors or industry players, but we have no arrangements with Singapore Airlines at this time."

Last year, Singapore Airlines, along with majority shareholder Temasek [TEM.UL], offered $920 million for a combined 24 percent stake in China Eastern, but minority shareholders led by Air China vetoed the deal.

China Eastern and Shanghai Air both suspended trading of their shares earlier this week because of major restructuring moves.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 03:46 PM   #640
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China Eastern makes Airbus order

State-controlled China Eastern Airlines has ordered 20 Airbus A320 aircraft despite having announced drastic cost-cutting plans earlier in the year.

The new aircraft ordered have a list price of $1.45bn (884m) and are to be delivered between 2011 and 2013.

Earlier this year the airline postponed or cancelled half of the 29 plane deliveries it had expected in 2009.

Its shares have been suspended since 8 June as it finalises a tie-up with its local rival Shanghai Airlines.

The merger is supposed to reduce their reliance on state aid.

China Eastern chairman Liu Shaoyong has said that details of the merger plan will be released in the next few weeks.

'Steady growth'

China Eastern has received 8bn yuan ($1.2bn; 714m) in government bail-outs in the current downturn.

But the airline said it had ordered that aeroplanes on the assumption that it would "have steady and organic growth over the next few years... when the economy recovers".

There were suggestions at the Paris Air Show that the planes were an allocation from a previous order by the Chinese government procurement agency CASGC and not a new order.

Nonetheless, Airbus has secured a number of deals at the show, with Hungary's budget carrier Wizz Air signing a memorandum of understanding on Thursday for 50 A320 aeroplanes with a list price of $3.8bn.

Air Asia has ordered 10 A350 jets, Qatar Airways has signed up for 24 A320s and there have also been orders from Vietnam Airlines and Cebu Pacific.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8106384.stm
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