China reports aviation profit rise

China?s civil aviation industry reported net profits of more than 5 billion yuan (US$637 million) in the third quarter of the year,

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China’s civil aviation industry reported net profits of more than 5 billion yuan (US$637 million) in the third quarter of the year, reversing the sector’s loss-making trend in the January-June period.

The quarterly reports from Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, the country’s three major airlines, showed net profits of $426 million, $63 million and $164 million respectively from July to September.

China’s flag carrier Air China said its net profit increase was a result of membership of the Star Alliance, an international airline grouping of 18 aviation companies.

Joining the Star Alliance member has helped save resources and cut costs, it said.

Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines and Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines reported that booming summer holiday flights had driven up net profits.

China Eastern said it carried 9.47 million passengers and transported 232,700 tons of cargo in July-September, an increase of 19% and 11% respectively year on year.

Business revenue grew 46% year on year to $3 million in the third quarter of 2006.

China Southern said it transported 223,000 tons of cargo from July to September, up 4.1% compared to the same period last year.

The company’s business revenue increased by 18.5% to $5 billion in quarter three.

In the first six months of this year, the civil aviation industry reported an overall loss of $82 million, but airline losses amounted to $327 million.

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