11-Dec-2009 11:16 AM

China Eastern profitable in 10 months to Oct-2009; pax up 20%; receives USD1.3 billion in subsidies

China Eastern Airlines reported a CNY1.85 billion (USD271 million) profit in the ten months to Oct-2009, with passenger numbers rising 19.8% year-on-year, prompting GM, Liu Shaoyong, to stated that the carrier is "moving away from its difficulties" (www.163.com/China Knowledge, 10-Dec-2009). However, he stated that further reform is required. The carrier has received CNY9 billion (USD1.3 billion) in government subsidies since the beginning of the global economic crisis. The Shanghai-based company is preparing for a share placement of CNY7 billion (USD1.0 billion) by the end of 2009, to reduce the carrier's debt/asset ratio to 94.7%. The carrier has further plans to reduce this to 80% through a variety of means, with the carrier considering introducing strategic investors.