2008 a year to forget for Air China, but 2009 could be far worse

Premium Analysis

Air China warned investors on 18-Jan-09 that it expects to report a “significant loss” in 2008, due to slowing travel demand and higher fuel costs. The carrier also unveiled unaudited paper losses of CNY6.8 billion (USD994.5 million) on wrong way bets on fuel last year – ranking it in first place in terms of unrealised losses, as at 31-Dec-08, of the carriers that have disclosed their positions to date. Between them, Air China, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern and Taiwan’s China Airlines have unrealised losses totalling over an astonishing USD3.5 billion.

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