Profits at China Southern Airlines have soared an estimated 15-fold in 2010 as demand for both passenger travel and cargo transportation continues to increase.
While the carrier – the largest in China by fleet size – did not release exact figures in its preliminary results, forecasts illustrate a sharp increase on the net profit of 358 million yuan (US$54 million) recorded in 2009.
“The demand for both passenger and cargo transportation services increased substantially,” the airline said in a statement filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The airline confirmed it also expected to benefit from an appreciation in the yuan against the dollar during 2010.
The figures are in line with predictions from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which last year said: “Asia - outside of Japan - is barrelling forward with high-speed growth.”
Asia remains the most profitable region of the world for airlines, added IATA, based on strong GDP growth (outside of Japan) of 6.6 per cent, led by China.
China Southern Airlines
Following the release, Shanghai-listed shares in China Southern closed up 3.1 per cent at 9.47 yuan.
This was ahead of the market benchmark of Shanghai Composite Index, which was up 0.62 per cent.
The company is due to release its annual report on March 28th.
Passenger numbers in China are expected to reach 300 million this year, up from 267 million last year.
The volume of cargo transported this year is estimated to reach 6.2 million tonnes, up from 5.6 million tonnes in 2009, added state media earlier this week.