Chinese shares slump, Air New Zealand innovates


Hong Kong shares fell to a four-month low on Tuesday on concerns over corporate profits and reports of further tightening in lending requirements to rein in runaway economic growth. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.05% to its lowest in nearly three months.

China Eastern (-6.0%), Air China (-5.3%), China Southern (-4.5%) and Hainan Airlines (-3.9%) were all hit hard, while in Taiwan, EVA Air (-6.1%) and China Airlines (-4.2%) also fell heavily.

Lie-down in economy now a reality with Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand stated it will "transform international air travel later this year" when it introduces lie-flat economy and premium economy seats with the delivery of its first new B777-300ER in Nov-2010. The 340 seat B777-300 aircraft will be configured with 246 in Economy (including 66 seats creating 22 Skycouch combinations), 50 in Premium Economy and 44 in Business Premier.

The first routes to offer travellers the "next generation of long haul travel" will be on selected NZ5 and NZ6 services between Auckland and Los Angeles from Dec-2010, followed by dedicated return services on NZ1 and NZ2 between Auckland and Los Angeles and through to London from Apr-2011. Air New Zealand expects to also refit its fleet of eight B777-200 aircraft from mid next year, with all Asian, North American and UK services to have the new product by around 2012.

Investors were seemingly unmoved, with Air New Zealand's shares dropping 0.8% yesterday. See related report: Couches, cougars and contraction: Air New Zealand downsizes to survive in the jungle

Elsewhere, Tiger Airways' shares slumped 4.5% on Tuesday.

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 26-Jan-2010

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