Chinese carriers reported a collective net income of CNY1 billion ($163 million), tripled from a net profit of CNY323 million in year-ago month. Operating revenue climbed 22% to CNY35.4 billion while operating expenses increased 14% to CNY30.1 billion.
Industry analysts credited the Chinese Spring Festival, which stimulated domestic market demand, for the profit increase.
Passenger boardings grew 19% to 30.58 million with an average load factor of 81.3%, up 3.1 points over the year-ago period. Cargo traffic volume dropped 1.8% to 470 million tonnes.
Looking ahead, Haitong Securities aviation analyst Huang Jinxiang said he is pessimistic about this year’s outlook, saying “Chinese economic transformation would make it difficult to sustain strong growth of market demand.” He also said that “overcapacity would exert pressure on domestic airlines’ financial performance.”
However, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) forecasts Chinese carriers will transport 390 million passengers this year, up 10.5% over 2013 and cargo traffic volume will increase 5.3% to 5.87 million tonnes.