China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空), the nation’s largest carrier, is expected to post a profit of NT$13 billion (US$406.25 million) this year, recovering from a loss of NT$3.8 billion last year, company spokesman Hamilton Liu (劉國芊) told the Taipei Times by telephone yesterday.
The profit forecast marks the company’s first year in the black since 2006, when it reported NT$738.4 million in profit, the company’s financial data showed.
The Taipei-based company saw losses of NT$32.35 billion in 2008 and NT$2.52 billion in 2007. In the first nine months of this year, the company made a profit of NT$10.03 billion, compared with losses of NT$4.99 billion a year ago.
“It would also be the company’s best ever performance,” Liu said as CAL celebrated its 51st anniversary yesterday.
At the celebration ceremony, CAL chairman Philip Wei (魏幸雄) said the company had this year achieved its highest business turnover in 50 years after overcoming challenges such as high oil prices, H1N1 pandemic flu and the global financial crisis in recent years, according to a company statement.
Wei did not discuss his unexpected resignation, announced by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in a statement issued on Wednesday night. The ministry appointed former China Steel Corp (中鋼) chairman Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) to replace Wei.
The company would likely hold a board meeting later this month or early next month to approve the appointment of Chang’s appointment. Liu said.
Looking ahead, CAL president Sun Hung-hsiang (孫洪祥) said the company would continue expanding the number of the direct flights between Taiwan and China, introduce five new Airbus A330 aircraft over the next two years, and remodel nine Boeing 747s by the end of next year to meet increased demand.