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Published on Sunday, November 1, 2020

China Southern Airlines bucks global trend by posting quarterly profit

China Southern Airlines is leading the Chinese aviation recovery, posting a third-quarter profit after months of upheaval for the industry.

The Guangzhou-based airline posted a net profit of 711 million yuan ($106 million) for July to September.

It is the first major carrier to post a profit, albeit 70% down compared to a year ago.

Revenue declined by 40% to 26.38 billion yuan, but China Southern improved its cost base thanks to low aviation fuel prices and a stronger currency.

The other two big state-owned carriers Air China and China Eastern Airlines also improved their fortunes in the third quarter but not enough to post a quarterly profit.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China says air traffic is almost at pre-pandemic levels.

It said it is only 2% lower year on year in September.

Smaller Chinese airlines including Spring Airlines and Juneyao Airlines, which are both based in Shanghai, both recorded healthy Q3 net profits.

However China Southern's Chairman Wang Changshun said its operations will still be 'materially and adversely affected' for the rest of the year due to international markets still at a virtual standstill.


Written by Ray Montgomery, Asia Editor

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