China's three main state-owned airlines said yesterday third-quarter profits surged as an economic recovery helped to boost travel.
China Southern Airlines Ltd., the country's biggest carrier by passenger numbers, said profit for the quarter ending Sept. 30 was 284 million yuan (US$41.6 million), or 0.04 yuan (US$0.5) per share.
That compared with a loss of 830 million yuan for the same period of 2008, when Chinese carriers were hit by record-high fuel prices and a decline in travel amid the global economic crisis. Results last year also were hurt by wrong-way bets on fuel price contracts.
China Southern and rivals Air China Ltd. and China Eastern Airlines Ltd. all reported that third-quarter revenue rose and costs fell as fuel prices eased.
Travel was boosted by a rebound in China's economic growth, which accelerated to 8.9 percent in the third quarter over a year earlier.
Air China said quarterly profit jumped to 884 million yuan (US$129 million), or 0.40 yuan per share, rebounding from a 1.94 billion yuan loss in the same period last year.