China Eastern Airlines profit plunges 23 percent

HONG KONG — China Eastern Airlines, the country's second biggest carrier by number of passengers, said on Friday its half-year net profit plunged 23 percent due to weaker domestic demand for air tra

China Eastern Airlines profit plunges 23 percent

HONG KONG — China Eastern Airlines, the country’s second biggest carrier by number of passengers, said on Friday its half-year net profit plunged 23 percent due to weaker domestic demand for air travel.

Net profit for the six months ending June 30 was 763.30 million yuan ($124.73 million), compared to 995.1 million yuan in the same period last year.

Revenue rose 2.7 percent to 41.48 billion yuan.

The airline was cushioned by a net foreign-exchange gain of 1.17 billion yuan for the period as the Chinese yuan appreciated against the dollar.

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Earlier this week, flag carrier Air China reported a 9.9 percent first-half net profit increase, driven by the currency appreciation, while China Southern Airlines saw a 19 percent fall in the same period.

China Southern also cited increasing competition from rival carriers and high-speed rail for the drop.

Shanghai-based China Eastern, which is teaming up with Australia’s Qantas to launch a new Hong Kong-based budget airline, bought 60 Airbus A320 aircraft worth $5.39 billion last year.

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