(Yicai Global) May 10 -- Although only a handful of Chinese airlines logged a profit in the first quarter, with the majority still losing money, carriers will probably be in the black once summer arrives, which is a peak travel season, industry insiders said.
Revenue during the summer is key, the insiders said. As international routes are recovering slower, those carriers with many international routes will remain under pressure.
Budget carrier Spring Airlines posted the most profit among China’s carriers in the three months ended March 31, raking in CNY356 million (USD51.3 million), thanks to its efficient cost control mechanisms and ability to maintain flexible routing.
Xiamen Airlines came second with CNY325 million (USD47 million) while Hainan Airlines and Juneyao Airlines logged a net profit of more than CNY150 million each. No-frills carrier West Air also made money.
Earlier this year, the chairmen of both Shanghai-based Spring Airlines and Juneyao Airlines said that they were confident that the two medium-sized private airlines would turn a profit this year, thanks to the continued optimization of their operations.
Hainan Airlines’ passenger traffic and its revenue passenger kilometer, or the number of kilometers traveled per paying customer, more than doubled in the first three months from a year earlier, according to the latest financial report by operator HNA Holdings, which was taken over by conglomerate Fangda Group Industrial last year.
Thanks to an uptick in tourism to the island getaway of Hainan during the Chinese New Year break in January,and the resumption of global travel, Hainan Airlines’ international passenger traffic soared nearly 19 times in the first quarter from a year ago, the load factor reached 80.4 percent and its international revenue passenger kilometer surged 15-fold.
Editor: Kim Taylor