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China’s airlines to exceed 200 million pax in 2009; Qantas yields set to improve


CAAC reports Mainland Chinese airlines handled 211 million passengers in the 11 months ended Nov-2009, a 20% year-on-year increase. The annual figure will therefore exceed 200 million for the first time. Cargo volumes were up 5.7% in the 12-month period, with international cargo up 0.2%, reversing the negative growth in the first ten months of the year.

CAAC airline passenger numbers (mill) and year-on-year growth: 2003 to 11 months to Nov-2009

Meanwhile, total industry profits (including airlines and airports) for the 11-month period was USD1.7 billion, with a profit of USD170 million in Nov-2009 alone.

Shares in Hainan Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, China Southern, Air China and China Eastern all rose yesterday.

Qantas yields set to improve on international fare increase

Qantas' shares gained the most in almost two weeks, after the carrier announced plans to increase fares on select international routes from 18-Dec-2009, for its first fare increase since Jun-2008 (the carrier has already increased domestic fares by 5-10%). The carrier was subsequently raised from ‘neutral’ to ‘buy’ by Bank of American Merrill Lynch, citing improving passenger yields.

Malaysia Airlines expects recovery towards the end of 2010; no plans to increase fares

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines Network and Revenue Senior General Manager, Dr Amin Khan, stated he expects a “real recovery only towards end-2010”, adding that “you’ll never see airfares dropping to such low levels again”. Dr Khan added that the carrier has no plans at present to increase fares, as it is still cautious of an economic recovery. Shares in the airline gained 2.3% yesterday.

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 14-Dec-09

Pax, load factors and cargo volume up at Thai Airways in Oct-2009

Thai Airways’ shares fell 1.0%, despite the carrier reporting improved passenger numbers, load factors and cargo volume in Oct-2009, with improvements of 10.0%, 7.1 ppts and 3.0%, respectively.

JAL and ANA shares up on US-Japan open skies agreement

Shares in Japan Airlines rose for the first time in a week, gaining 3.2% yesterday, with shares in ANA up 1.2%, after the US and Japan reached agreement on the text of a landmark open skies aviation agreement on 12-Dec-2009, liberalising US-Japan air services for the carriers of both countries and opening up the possibility for stronger alliance between Japanese and US airlines.

See related article: US-Japan reach open skies deal. Star in box seat, battle for Japan Airlines to intensify

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