Sat, Feb 28, 2004 - Page 10 News List

China Airlines posts record NT$7.7bn in sales for last month

TAKING OFF Taiwan's largest airline expects this year to go well with the receipt of seven new planes that will lower the carrier's operating costs

CNA , TAIPEI

China Airlines (CAL, 華航), the nation's largest carrier, recorded record sales last month of NT$7.7 billion (US$231 million), a CAL executive said yesterday.

Pre-tax profit was about NT$500 million, CAL General Manager Philips Wei (魏幸雄) said.

With deliveries of new passenger and cargo planes this year, CAL is expected to register an all-time record of NT$89 billion in revenue for the whole of this year, barring any major incidents that could affect its operations such as another outbreak of SARS, Wei said.

Seven planes will join CAL's fleet in the next few months -- three A330-300 passenger planes in June, two B747-400F cargo planes in July and August and two B747-400 passenger planes by the end of this year.

The new planes will help CAL simplify its fleet, lowering operation costs by about 10 percent.

CAL opened several new routes last year, both for passenger and cargo flights.

Last year, it inaugurated new regular passenger services to Hanoi and Brisbane and launched historic charter flights to Seoul, as well as resuming services to Hawaii. This year, it plans to open new routes to Hiroshima, Seattle and Houston.

In terms of cargo travel, it started services to Ho Chih Minh City and reopened operations to Manchester and Delhi last year. It is planning to offer cargo services to other destinations in Europe and India later this year.

Affected by the outbreaks of SARS, CAL posted losses of NT$1 billion in the first half of last year and recorded profits of NT$2.7 billion in the second half, leaving the carrier with net earnings of NT$1.7 billion.

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