China Eastern Airlines, China Southern and Virgin Blue higher

Chinese airline stocks closed higher on Monday, aided by a stronger yuan. Hainan Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern and Air China rose 3.4%, 3.3%, 1.8% and 1.2%, respectively yesterday.

China Eastern’s Executive Director, Luo Zhuping, told the Wall Street Journal that the airline would increase capacity by 8-10% annually over the next few years.

Hong Kong shares closed at a one-month high on Tuesday, rising 0.2% after Monday’s 2.1% rally. Cathay Pacific however fell 3.1%.

China Airlines falls

A China Airlines spokesman stated net profits for the first eight months of 2010 would exceed TWD10 billion, supported by cross-Strait services to the mainland. The carrier generated a profit of TWD6.3 billion in the first half of 2010, on rising demand and average fares.

The Taiwan-based carrier announced this week that it would join the SkyTeam Alliance. The airline’s decision follows China Eastern’s announcement of plans to join fellow manland carrier, China Southern, in alliance next year. China Airlines' shares eased 1.2% yesterday.

Thai Airways fell 3.3% ahead of today’s decision on the pricing of its THB15 billion (YSD483 million) share offer. The offer of 1 billion new shares is expected to be priced at THB31-34 per share, according to a Reuters poll – or a discount of up to 14% on Tuesday’s price.

Virgin Blue gained 4% as CEO, John Borghetti, vowed to fight regulators’ decisions to deny proposed alliances with Delta Air Lines and Air New Zealand.

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 14-Sep-2010