(Yicai Global) Aug. 30 -- Spring Airlines' profit climbed 17.5 percent in the first half from a year earlier as the budget Chinese carrier cut costs, defying a spate of lower earnings across the domestic aviation sector.
Net profit came to CNY854 million (USD119 million) in the first six months, while operating revenue rose 13 percent to CNY7.2 billion (USD1 billion), the Shanghai-based operator said in a semi-annual financial report yesterday.
Privately owned Spring Airlines has six Airbus A320neo aircraft which consume 15 percent less fuel than the previous generation of A320 planes. The firm is likely to reduce fuel consumption further by introducing more A320neo planes.
Excellent cost control is the main reason why the airline's profit grew faster than revenue, PingAn Securities said in a research report today.
By comparison, other domestic carriers' profit dropped on average by a quarter in the first half compared with the same period last year, Yicai Global learned at the 2019 National Civil Aviation Mid-Year Work Conference held last month. The whole civil aviation industry saw a 2 percent decline in profits in the January to June period.
The sector has struggled in the face of rising fuel prices, greater exchange rate fluctuations, a decreasing proportion of business travelers and competition from high-speed trains, Civil Aviation Administration of China Director Feng Zhenglin said at the conference.
Air China, the country's flagship carrier, saw profit fall 9.5 percent to CNY3.1 billion. Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines slid 21 percent to CNY1.7 billion, while regional carriers XiamenAir sank 72 percent to CNY116 million and Shandong Airlines lost CNY27 million compared with a CNY200 million profit a year earlier.
Spring Airlines remained buoyant with a 13 percent rise in first-half passenger numbers to 10.8 million. Its planes had an average passenger load of 92 percent, a rise of 2.4 percentage points. The average load for international carriers was 90 percent, up 4.9 percentage points.