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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

China's big three carriers see earnings soar

Chinese airlines benefit from surging domestic and international passenger travel

A China Southern Airlines at Ho Chi Minh international airport. The carrier along with Air China and Chia Eastern Airlines have all seen earnings rise. Thomas White/Reuters
A China Southern Airlines at Ho Chi Minh international airport. The carrier along with Air China and Chia Eastern Airlines have all seen earnings rise. Thomas White/Reuters

China's three biggest airlines have reported a rise in third-quarter net profit on strong domestic travel demand.

China Southern, Asia's biggest carrier, saw its net profit for July-September surge 29.4 per cent year-on-year to 4.28 billion yuan (Dh2.36bn), according to a stock exchange statement on Monday.

Flag carrier Air China said its third-quarter net profit surged 31.39 per cent year-on-year to 4.95bn yuan, according to a statement to the Hong Kong exchange, where it is listed.

The carrier said strong economic growth in the quarter, and buoyant demand during the summer holiday season from July to August, boosted earnings.

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"Despite challenges the aviation industry still faces, such as foreign exchange rate, oil price, geological and political situations... the overall market supply and demand trend improved," Air China said.

Chinese carriers have benefited from a boom in domestic and international air trips as the country's middle class spends more on travel and leisure.

Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines reported slower growth than the others for the third quarter, up 3.09 per cent to 3.59bn yuan.

Its investment of €375 million (Dh1.6bn) for a 10 per cent stake in Air France-KLM was completed on October 3.

Shares in China Southern and Air China were both boosted on Monday by the upbeat earnings.

Air China closed up 1.4 per cent in Shanghai, where it is also listed, and jumped 3.9 per cent in Hong Kong. China Southern added 0.9 per cent in Shanghai and was 1.2 per cent higher in Hong Kong.