Chinese airlines post profits

08:38, February 25, 2011      

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About 130 of the 175 domestic airports lost a combined 1.68 billion yuan (US$245 million) last year but Chinese airlines flew into profits of 35.1 billion yuan, accounting for 60 percent of the profits of global airlines, said the director of the civil aviation regulator yesterday.

"Airports are infrastructure to serve the public rather than make money, and the profits they can help generate are eight times the investments put into building them," Li Jiaxiang, director of Civil Aviation Administration of China, said.

The government is willing to subsidize airports as they shore up regional economies, and the CAAC provided subsidies of more than 6 billion yuan to regional airports from 2006 to 2010, Li said.

Last year, domestic airlines and airports tripled their profits to a record total of 43.7 billion yuan. Airlines earned profits of 35.1 billion yuan as they tapped major events, including the Shanghai Expo and the Guangzhou Asian Games.

Passenger numbers rose 15.8 percent from 192 million in 2009 to a record 267 million last year. Cargo turnover added 25 percent from a year ago to 5.57 million tons in 2010.

Li also said during the 11th Five Year Plan from 2006 to 2010, domestic carriers flew more than 1 billion passengers, an average annual rise of 14.1 percent.

Investments in civil aviation were 1 trillion yuan in the period, Li said.

Source: Shanghai Daily
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