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Old April 13th, 2011, 05:21 PM   #1021
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China Eastern Airlines To Hedge Half Of Fuel Costs For International Flights
13 April 2011

SHANGHAI (Dow Jones)--China Eastern Airlines Corp. (0670.HK) is planning to hedge half of its jet-fuel costs for its international flights each year in the future as part of efforts to cut rising fuel costs amid stronger crude oil prices, Ma Xulun, the carrier's general manager, said Wednesday.

The Shanghai-based state-run airline has applied to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, China's state asset regulator, for approval on its planned fuel hedging operations, Ma said at a briefing. He didn't elaborate.

People familiar with the situation told Dow Jones Newswires last month that SASAC issued a set of new guidelines on the oversight of major state-owned companies' financial derivatives trading overseas, plugging a regulatory loophole that caused Beijing massive losses during the recent global financial crisis.

Under the new guidelines, which were circulated among firms directly run by the SASAC, companies must seek approval from the state asset regulator for any derivatives trading in overseas over-the-counter markets, said the people, who declined to be named.

Wu Longxue, director of China Eastern's finance and accounting department, said at the same briefing that the company intends to hedge 50% of its jet-fuel used on international routes and to sign jet-fuel hedging contracts that will expire within one year.

However, "it looks unlikely for us to sign new fuel hedging contracts this year as oil prices have already risen above our estimate of an average of $91 a barrel for this year," Wu said.

As for contracts signed in 2008, Ma added hedging contracts covering 5.32 million barrels of jet fuel will expire by the end of this year. The company hasn't signed any new fuel-hedge contracts in the past few years, he added.

China Eastern Airlines signed fuel-hedging contracts in 2008 amid roller-coaster oil prices between a low of $41.25 per barrel and a high of $146.69 that year, and recorded a loss of CNY6.2 billion on these contracts in the same year. These contracts expire between 2008 and 2011.

Apart from efforts to cut jet-fuel costs, the company is also seeking strategic investors, including financial investors and its industry peers, to bring down its asset to liability ratio, reduce finance costs and meet the capital demand from its rapid expansion, Ma said.

He reiterated that the company keeps an open mind on introducing strategic investors, but declined to offer further details.

The company's asset to liability ratio has decreased to 84% from 115% in 2008 but remains the highest among the country's big three carriers, he added.

The other two major domestic carriers are Air China (0753.HK) and China Southern Airlines (1055.HK).
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Old April 14th, 2011, 03:41 PM   #1022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuraiBlue View Post
I thought this plane hit a major snag pushing them back to the drawing board. Have they been able to fix the wing intensity load problem?
Was this recent? I haven't picked up news in the past few months about it.
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Old April 15th, 2011, 10:02 AM   #1023
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Business growth fills flights between China, SA
12 April 2011
Cape Times

SOUTH Africa's new membership of the Bric group of Brazil, Russia, India and China, together with heavy Chinese investment in Africa, will lead to steady growth in both business travel and tourism between China and this country, according to local manager of Cathay Pacific Airways David Ryan.

Cathay Pacific's worldwide flights were badly affected during the recession, while flights between Hong Kong and Johannesburg remained among the most profitable. "It was one of the few bright spots in the financial crisis," Ryan said.

With the downturn over and the Far East the first region to recover, Cathay was profitable again and the route was attracting growing passenger numbers particularly from China.

Pointing out that China was investing heavily in a number of African countries, particularly Angola, and a lot of Chinese labour was travelling there, Ryan said that South Africa was one of the few airline markets on the continent big enough to justify direct flights and therefore was growing in importance as a gateway.

South Africa itself was also attracting investment from China, particularly from small businesses, he said. "The Chinese are great entrepreneurs and are quick to see opportunities in the market."

It had also become easier for an increasing number of Chinese who could afford to leave their country for leisure as well as business, and they were now ready to go further afield than neighbouring countries.

China itself was a particularly attractive market for tourism because, like Japan, it had retained its individual culture that made it a less familiar destination than those in Europe and North America. It had become easier for foreign visitors to move around since the Olympics had been held in Beijing, causing changes such as street signs that could be read by Europeans and taxi drivers who could speak English.

"The Beijing Olympics helped to arouse interest in China and changed people's perception of it in the same way that hosting the soccer World Cup changed perceptions of South Africa. It made people realise how much China has to offer."

Others in the travel industry share his views on the outlook for business with China. Among them are the chief executive of Club Travel Wally Gaynor, managing director of Travel Counsellors in South Africa Will Puk and executives of Singapore Airlines which, like Cathay, is already experiencing growth in the market.

Sally George, the business development manager for Singapore Airlines in South Africa, said: "We are seeing an increase in Chinese passengers to Johannesburg and Cape Town. Corporate travel from this country has grown and we have put on an additional flight from Singapore to Hong Kong that leaves at a convenient time for passengers arriving from Johannesburg."

Lim Wei-Ping, the Singapore Airlines manager in the Western Cape, said: "We do see a steady increase in the number of passengers arriving from China. It has been growing for more than a year and is clearly not a temporary thing."

Puk agreed, saying: "Business with China is growing by leaps and bounds."
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Old April 15th, 2011, 06:15 PM   #1024
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March profit of Chinese airlines falls 36.2pct on year at 1.71 bln yuan, CAAC
15 April 2011

BEIJING, Apr. 15 (Xinhua) -- China's civil aviation industry reaped profits of 1.71 billion yuan in March, down 36.2 percent year on year, statistics from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) show.

The industry's air passenger volume totaled 22.816 million, rising 5.0 percent year on year, lower than the year-on-year growth of 6.8 percent in the previous month. The total aviation turnover was 4.664 billion tonne-km, up 4.8 percent year on year, higher than the year-on-year growth of 3.5 percent in February. The air cargo volume stood at 489,000 metric tons (tonnes), up 2.0 percent year on year, against the year-on-year decline of 11.8 percent in the previous month.

Analysts pointed out that the weak operating data of the aviation industry in March will hit performance of airline stocks as it will strengthen market worries on sluggish demand and weak profitability of airline firms. Plus the side effects from the upcoming opening of Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway and levy of carbon tariffs by the European Union next year, Chinese airlines stocks are believed hard to achieve sound performance in medium-term's view.
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Old April 15th, 2011, 06:58 PM   #1025
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Old April 16th, 2011, 01:14 AM   #1026
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nice pics!
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Old April 17th, 2011, 07:13 AM   #1027
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Old April 19th, 2011, 11:46 AM   #1028
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Houston to be connected by direct China flights
Created: 2011-4-16 10:59:25
Xinhua

HOUSTON, the fourth largest US city, is looking at moving its 2 million residents faster and farther, including high-speed rail, keeping NASA in town and providing direct flights to and from China, the city's Mayor Annise Parker said yesterday.

Following her annual "state of the city" speech before 1,500 government officials and business leaders, Parker held a press conference to elaborate on the city's efforts to rebound from a sour economy and create a more mobile future for the city's 2 million residents.

Plans currently on the drawing table, she said, include direct air service between Houston and major cities in the Chinese mainland, though she did not name an airline or prospective timetable for flights to begin.

"We're working on a direct level with the airport," Parker said, referring to Houston's George H.W. Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Expanding opportunities for trade is one of the city's highest priorities, she said, along with deficit-busting, fiscally sound management, job creation, new development, building infrastructure and reducing crime.

Parker headed a 60-person delegation to China in August and took a ride on high-speed rail.

She is now working, she said, on getting private funding for a similar fast rail line between Houston and Dallas, the state's largest cities.

"I've ridden the high speed rail in Shanghai and I was tremendously impressed," Parker said.

She has been in discussions with Harris County Judge Edward Emmett as to how Houston will implement a fast future Houston-Dallas rail line.

The mayor's August trip to Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing gave her a first-hand experience with fast-rail technology and underscored her commitment to greater cooperation between Houston and China, especially in energy, medical treatment and mass transportation.

"The county judge and I are in communication about a high-speed, viable corridor between Houston and Dallas," Parker said. "It will take a lot of private funding to see that there is a connection in place."

In the area of space travel, Parker said she is unhappy with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., who last week said they plan to disburse some functions of NASA and replant them in other states. Houston, she said, has long been home to astronauts and the nation's space program.

Parker said if she gets the chance to weigh in on the decision, she will do so in a letter to the US Congress about the space program's importance to Houston.

"They are dismantling our simulators and sending them around the country," Parker said. "It's now in Congressional plans. We will continue to be the place where astronauts are trained; we will not concede an inch on being the future of space."

Patrick Oxford, past president of the event's host, the Greater Houston Partnership, introduced the mayor by acknowledging that the partnership and Parker are fighting to keep NASA in Houston and to increase trade and funding levels for public schools and the Texas Medical Center.

Oxford said Houston is number one in the United States in the amount of foreign trade conducted in town or through Houston-based business interests. The multicultural nature of Houston has reaped big rewards, he said.

"One of the most rewarding results is that we have 92 consulates and we are first in the nation in the multitude of foreign trade," Oxford said.

Among the nations represented at yesterday's event were consuls or high-ranking officials from France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

"We continue to engage in inbound and outbound trade missions to China, working to increase trade and to have businesses move here," Parker said.

In her message to the government officials Houston's business leaders in attendance, Parker outlined challenges and initiatives the city has experienced during the past year.

Parker said that despite the downturn in the economy, Houston remains strong and secure, and has seen a drop in crime, an increase in jobs, development and improvements in neighborhoods and infrastructure while saving money.

"The economy is not back yet, but job creation is going up, building permits are up, sales tax is going up," Parker said. "We've seen the largest five-year employment gain of any city."

Houston, she said, has also been named by national media as the best place to live and work, the best city to start a new career and, with 644 million US dollars in new development, the most entrepreneurial city in North America.

Parker said the city of Houston ranks as the number-one purchaser of renewable energy in the nation. This year, she said, the city will see its first all-electric automobile from Nissan.

"We're all in this together," Parker said. "We rise or fall together. We prosper or fail together. We solve our problems -- or we don't -- together. Join hands with me as we continue to create the Houston we dream of -- the Houston that could be, should be and will be."
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Old April 19th, 2011, 12:09 PM   #1029
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http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/busines...t_12353249.htm

Spring Air plans overseas JVs
By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-04-19 11:10

BEIJING - Spring Airlines, China's first budget airline, is hoping to set up joint ventures in Japan and South Korea to expand its presence in the neighboring markets, said the carrier's chairman of the board.

The Shanghai-based airlines, the aviation subsidiary of Shanghai Spring International Travel Service, will become the first budget airline in China to set up an overseas joint venture.

The company is also scouting for local partners in South Korea, Hong Kong and Macao, said Wang Zhenghua, chairman of the board of the airlines, on his personal blog last week.

The move is to grab more market share and ease bottlenecks, such as shortage of pilots, during its current fast development, Wang said.

"To set up a joint venture in Japan, where pilots are relatively abundant, will boost business in Japan and increase the number of routes between China and Japan, and Japan and South Korea," he said.

But Zhang Wu'an, spokesman for Spring Airlines, told China Daily on Monday that the plan is still in its infancy and it is too early to reveal any details, despite the company's confidence in the Japanese market.

Zhang Lei, an aviation analyst at Citic Construction Co Ltd, said among international routes, competition on flights to Japan and South Korea is less fierce than those to the US and Europe, while flights to North Asian countries are still profitable given its short distance.

Zhang said that a local partnership will be a boon to a budget carrier such as Spring Airlines by providing more access to market resources and local customers.

On July 28, Spring Airlines launched its first international route, connecting Shanghai and Japan's Ibaraki Airport, about 80 kilometers away from Tokyo.

On Sept 28, the airline kicked off its route from Shanghai to Hong Kong.

Established in 2005, the budget carrier has a fleet of 22 Airbus A320 aircraft, with passenger occupancy of more than 95 percent.

Its proposed second route to Japan - between Shanghai and Takamatsu - was scheduled to begin on March 27 with four flights a week, but it was postponed because of the recent earthquake.

Additional routes to Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku are in the pipeline.

Other routes linking South Korea, Southeast Asian countries and Russia are also in the planning.

Given the frequent business and leisure travel between major cities in Japan and China, the popularity of such air routes make them stimulating investments, according to Spring Airlines.

Japan's leading air carrier ANA was reported by China Business News in February to be planning a budget airline joint venture based in Osaka by September, with investment from First Eastern Financial Investment Group in Hong Kong.
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Old April 20th, 2011, 05:37 PM   #1030
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Old April 28th, 2011, 07:34 PM   #1031
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Old May 10th, 2011, 05:27 PM   #1032
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Old May 13th, 2011, 11:34 AM   #1033
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Air China chairman projects 2011 profits below 2010 level

BEIJING, May 11 (Reuters) - Air China , the country's flag carrier, expects its full-year net profit will fall below the 2010 level, its chairman said on Wednesday.

Kong Dong cited high steel prices and disruption of flights to Japan after that country's earthquake and tsunami, as well as competition from China's high-speed railway for the lower outlook.

Kong, speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of an aviation forum in Beijing, did not give a specific profit forecast.

In the first quarter, Air China's net profit came to 1.67 billion yuan, down 23 percent from a year earlier.

"The situation airlines are facing this year is very different from last year," Kong said. "It's a combination of several factors."

He also said Air China is in talks with Deutsche Lufthansa AG for possible cooperation on international routes but declined to elaborate.

In March, Kong had expected "considerable" growth in the carrier's bottom line due to China's robust air travel growth as well as on an equity deal with smaller rival Shenzhen Air.

The results of Shenzhen Air, now controlled by Air China, were consolidated into Air China's financial results in May 2010, according to Kong.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 07:49 AM   #1034
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Old May 15th, 2011, 08:10 PM   #1035
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Air China: Apr passenger transport volume up 9.5pct on year

BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhua) – Chinese airline giant Air China (601111.SH) announced Friday that its passenger and freight transport volume in April grew 9.5 percent and 13.4 percent respectively year on year.

In the month, the company carried 4.16 million passengers and 105,600 tonnes of goods.
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Old May 18th, 2011, 12:35 PM   #1036
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Air China resumes flight services from Beijing to Athens

BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhua) -- An A330-model aircraft belonging to Air China, the country's flagship carrier, took off from Beijing at 12:40 a.m. Wednesday and made its way to the city of Athens, signaling the resumption of flight services between China and Greece.

The duration of the twice-weekly flight will be 13 hours and 25 minutes, according to Feng Run'e, vice president of Air China. Feng said that Air China is the only Chinese airline with a China-Greece route.

The carrier originally launched service to Athens in 2007, but halted the service in 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis.

The strengthening of bilateral trade between China and Greece, the global economic recovery and the swift growth of the Chinese economy all created demand for resuming the route, Feng said.

Feng added that with the resumption of the China-Athens route, Air China now has 13 European flights.
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Old May 18th, 2011, 06:13 PM   #1037
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Old May 18th, 2011, 07:05 PM   #1038
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Airbus top business jet lands in China for charter flights

BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Beijing-based Deer Jet has purchased an Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ), one of the world's top business jets, for its charter flights service.

Deer Jet will be the first Chinese business jet operator to use an ACJ, Zhang Peng, the company's vice president told a press on Wednesday.

"It's an important move to cope with the growing competition in the national business jet market," said Zhang.

There are about 70 business jets operated by six companies in China.

Founded in 1995, the Deer Jet Co,. Ltd., is a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines, China's fourth largest airline group. It currently runs 39 business jets on more than 120 routes.

The company aims to increase its number of business jets to 55 by the end of 2011, said Zhang.

The new ACJ will be based in Beijing, from where it will offer nonstop charter flights to destinations in China and most of the Asia-Pacific. The Airbus ACJ's intercontinental range also means it can be used for one-stop flights to most cities worldwide, he said.

The aircraft, which arrived in Beijing on May 4, is worth at least 60 million U.S. dollars and has 28 passenger seats.

Airbus has sold more than 20 business jets to China since its first sale in 2005, and it plans to sell five new ACJs in the greater China area each year over the next five years.

"China holds 25 percent of ACJ's total world sales, and the share will keep growing in the future," said David Velupillai, Airbus' Marketing Director for Executive and Private Aviation Department.

To boost sales in the Chinese market, the company has adjusted the cabin design of its jets sold to China.

The jets cater to the color and furniture preferences of Asian customers. Airbus also specially created the red wine-colored interior for the Chinese market, said Velupillai.

"We expect China will need 500 to 600 business jets in total by 2015 with an average eight percent GDP growth," said Zhang Peng.

"It might take over the United States to lead the global business jet market within 10 years," he said.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 03:51 PM   #1039
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China Southern inks co-op deal with LAN Airlines to expand cargo market

BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhua) -- China's largest airline by fleet size China Southern Airlines (ZNH.NYSE; 01055.HK; 600029.SH) has inked a cooperation agreement with LAN Airlines to cooperate in cargo business on the route between Shanghai and Los Angeles.

According to the agreement, China Southern will provide cargo freight space for LAN Airlines on the Shanghai-Los Angels route, providing China Southern with more sources of cargo.

The two months of May and June are low season for air cargo transport, so the expected boost cargo transport volume and turnover of China Southern will be especially welcome.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 06:04 PM   #1040
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