Fri, Jul 12, 2013 - Page 13 News List

China Airlines set for return to black

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines chief executive, third left, and Sun Hung-hsiang, chairman of China Airlines, third right, pose with flight attendants at a press conference in Taipei yesterday promoting their new code-sharing service.

Photo: Tseng Hung-ju, Taipei Times

Strong passenger traffic is likely to help China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空), the nation’s largest carrier, return to the black this quarter, but it could still report losses for the last quarter.

The company is forecast to report NT$100 million (US3.4 million) in losses for the April-to-June quarter, or a net loss of NT$0.02 per share following losses of NT$1.11 billion, NT$0.21 per share, in the previous quarter, analysts say.

“We have seen passenger business start to show seasonal momentum [during the summer vacation period],” CAL chairman Sun Hung-hsiang (孫洪祥) told reporters after the carrier held a press conference with Hawaiian Airlines about their code-sharing deal.

The average passenger load is expected to reach 80 percent to 85 percent in the July-to-September period, Sun said.

Sun said routes to Japan showed the strongest momentum, citing rising tourist numbers on the back of the recent sharp depreciation in the yen.

The passenger load on US routes also maintained a satisfactory level following the launch of the US Visa-Waiver Program last year, he added.

In the first half of the year, the carrier saw revenue contract 2.41 percent from a year earlier to NT$67.22 billion, CAL said.

Sun did not elaborate on the earnings outlook for this quarter.

CAL said it will begin a code-sharing service with Hawaiian Airlines on the Taipei-Honolulu route starting on Oct. 27.

The two carriers’ will increase their flight frequency on the route to 11 per week, after CAL’s began two weekly direct flights on June 2, in addition its regular daily flight with a stopover in Tokyo.

On Tuesday, Hawaiian Airlines launched its regular service between Taipei and Honolulu, with three flights per week, aiming at an average passenger load of 85 percent in the long run.

In other developments, CAL yesterday announced it would buy an Airbus SAS’ 340-300 aircraft it previously leased from Chailease Holding Co (中租控股) — the nation’s top leasing services provider — for NT$3.08 billion.

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