China's airlines confront a year of the Tiger still with sharp teeth

Premium Analysis

The Lunar new Year which began on 1-Feb-2022 features the characteristics of the Tiger, a tenacious and basically optimistic animal. It's going to need to be.

China's airlines, reporting the 2021 CY results in late Jan-2022 have uniformly repeated certain messages about their significant losses and less than happy outlook, as the full impact of pandemic restrictions continues into its third year.

In the face of China's COVID policy, there has been passenger reluctance to fly, with an uncertain and fluctuating domestic domestic market, near absence of international operations, a strong impact from higher oil prices, exacerbated by exchange rate changes.

Only Spring Airlines, China's leading LCC, managed to remain in the black.

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific, with its fundamentally international hub operations shackled by the mainland's strict quarantine policies, is facing the bleakest outlook of all.

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