China Southern Air plans 21 bln yuan capex over 2006, 2007 to expand fleet

HONG KONG (XFNews-ASIA) - China Southern Airlines said it plans capital expenditure of a total of 21 bln yuan over 2006 and 2007 to expand its fleet.

It said it will spend 9 bln yuan this year and 12 bln yuan in 2007.

Financial director Xu Jie Bo told reporters that the airline aims to expand its fleet to 299 aircraft by the end of this year from the current 261, and further raise it to 330 next year.  

Chairman Liu Shao Yong said the airline will try to improve its performance by enhancing operating income and by reducing old aircraft in order to cut maintenance costs.  

The airline expects to increase its market share in Guangzhou to 60 pct from the current 58 pct and its share in the Beijing market to 25 pct from 18 pct in three years, Liu said.

China Southern Airlines reported yesterday a net loss of 1.85 bln yuan for 2005, wider than the 48 mln loss posted a year earlier due to higher fuel costs and stiff competition.

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