China Airlines up despite record loss, Virgin Blue soars despite Tiger threat


China Airlines (CAL) reported a USD970 million net loss in 2008 - a record deficit - which it attributed to high fuel costs for the first three quarters of the year and slumping revenues in the fourth. The result was around USD85 million worse than median analyst forecasts, but the carrier's shares went up 4.2% on Friday.

Investors were enthused by CAL's announcement of Board approval to cancel 30.7% of its shares, to help boost its flagging share price. The airline has yet to disclose if treasury stock is to be canceled, or a buy-back is to be conducted. CAL will issue USD300 million in three and five-year bonds in a private placement, subject to a shareholder vote on 18-May-09.

Rival, EVA Air, last month announced plans to cancel a proposed share issue. Its shares soared 7% on Friday.

Meanwhile, Virgin Blue shares advanced 8.1% on Friday despite Tiger Airways' announcement of plans to enter one of its most lucrative markets - the Sydney-Melbourne route.

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Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 03-Apr-09

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