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China Southern and China Eastern shares spike

Shares in Chinese airlines spiked on Wednesday, lead by a 8.1% gain by China Southern Airlines and a 7.4% increase in the stock of China Eastern Airlines. Air China shares were up 6.4% as almost all airline shares in the region traded strongly.

CAAC reported China's aviation industry made a profit of USD359.1 million in Mar-2011, as passenger numbers grew 5% to 22.8 million, but cargo volume rose just 2% to 489,000 tonnes. 1Q2011 figures from the CAAC show an aviation industry profit of USD1133 million, while passenger numbers rose 9.3% and cargo was up 1.2%.

Air China reported the following traffic highlights in Mar-2011:

  • Passenger traffic (RPKs): +5.6% year-on-year;
    • Domestic: +6.5%;
    • International: +3.3%;
    • Regional: +16%;
  • Passenger load factor: 80.2%, -0.3 ppt;
    • Domestic: 82.7%, +4.2 ppts;
    • International: 76.8%, -7.7 ppts;
    • Regional: 75.2%, +3.1 ppts.

China Eastern Airlines reported the following traffic highlights in Mar-2011:

  • Passenger numbers: 5.5 million, +6.8% year-on-year;
    • Domestic: 4.7 million, +6.7%;
    • International: 557,950, +9.1%;
    • Regional: 218,150, +3.1%;
  • Passenger load factor: 77.6%, +0.3 ppt;
    • Domestic: 80.5%, +1.9 ppts;
    • International: 71.4%, -3.0 ppts;
    • Regional: 69.5%, -2.4 ppts;
  • Cargo volume: 123,820 tonnes, -4.6%;
  • Cargo load factor: 62.6%, +0.3 ppt. 

Malaysia Airlines stated it would reduce its global expansion plans for 2011 in light of increasing fuel prices and the consequences from Japan's earthquake. The carrier will still increase capacity but at a much lower pace than the targetted 10% increase.  The rise in fuel costs are expected to affect the airline's 1Q2011 results. The carrier has hedged 25% of its fuel requirements for 2011 at USD88 per barrel.

Selected Asia-Pacific airline share price movements (% change): 13-Apr-2011