China Southern to take delivery of first A380 in Aug-2011, Cathay reduces Japan capacity

China Southern Airlines confirmed it expects to take delivery of its first of five A380s in Aug-2011. The aircraft will initially be deployed on services from Beijing, though destinations were not disclosed.

China Southern expects to end 2011 with 461 aircraft in its fleet, compared to 422 as at 31-Dec-2010. The airline will take delivery of one additional B777-200LRF later this year, for a total of six. China Southern has not been badly affected by the Japan crisis, with routes to Japan accounting for just 2% of its total capacity.

Cathay Pacific meanwhile announced plans to reduce capacity to/from Japan from 01-Apr-2011 to 15-Apr-2011 in response to weakening passenger demand. At present, Cathay Pacific operates seven daily services to/from Tokyo. After the planned temporary suspensions, the airline will operate four times daily to Tokyo and five times daily from Tokyo; four times daily to Osaka and three times daily from Osaka; and two times daily to/from Nagoya. Services to Fukuoka and Sapporo are not affected. 

A Cathay spokesman said, "At the moment we expect several months of weakness with a recovery towards the summer, but there are still a lot of variables out there that might alter this view going forward".

Shares in China Southern and Cathay Pacific fell 4% and 0.1%, respectively, yesterday.

Selected APAD daily share price movements (% change): 30-Mar-2011