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China's top airlines post wider Q4 losses on asset impairments

03/31/2021| 10:45:57 AM|

China’s domestic air travel market has quietly overtaken the once-dominant U.S. market in size during the pandemic.

China’s three biggest airlines on Tuesday reported weaker results for the final quarter of 2020 on asset impairments though some analysts still expect a rebound this year as domestic travel rises.

China Southern Airlines fell to a fourth-quarter net loss of RMB 3.38 billion (USD 514.37 million) after a third-quarter profit.

It booked a 2020 loss of RMB 10.8 billion after impairments on planes, engines and other equipment of 4 billion, with much of its international fleet still grounded due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Beijing-based Air China, the country’s flag carrier, said its net loss widened to RMB 4.3 billion in the fourth quarter from RMB 671 million in the third, taking its full-year loss to RMB 14.4 billion.

Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines said its net loss widened RMB 2.7 billion from 563 million, spelling a full-year loss of RMB 11.8 billion.

China’s domestic air travel market has quietly overtaken the once-dominant U.S. market in size during the pandemic.

A gradual recovery in international travel in the second half should mean net profits for the top three carriers, according to analysts at Shenzhen-based Guoxin Securities.

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TAGS: China Southern Airlines | Air China | China Eastern Airlines
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