China Southern's happy new year
Shares in China Southern Airlines rose as much as 10 per cent in Hong Kong yesterday after posting a 17.8 per cent year-on-year increase in passenger volume during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.
The Guangzhou-based carrier, which relies on domestic routes for 80 per cent of its passenger business, operated more than 10,000 flights and carried around 1.28 million people in the seven days from February 13.
Overall, the number of passengers carried by mainland carriers rose 19.4 per cent to 4.78 million during the holiday thanks to a 14.7 per cent rise in the number of flights, according to the nation's airline regulator.
Shares in China Southern finally closed 9.6 per cent higher at HK$2.98 yesterday.
The peak of the airline's traffic demand fell on the two days before the end of the holiday with people returning to work, the carrier said.
The percentage of seats sold - the load factor - on flights to Guangzhou surged to a record 95 per cent on February 20 and February 21, representing more than 40,000 inbound passengers per day.
'But the high load factor on particular days cannot speak for all as the passenger demand was very uneven throughout the holiday,' a market watcher said. Mainland carriers reported an average load factor of 70.8 per cent during the week.
China Southern did not provide an average load factor for all the flights during the holiday.
Air China, which did not disclose its operational figures during the Lunar New Year, reported instead that its passenger numbers rose 6.3 per cent year-on-year in January with 3.41 million passengers. The Beijing-based carrier's cargo tonnage rose 55.1 per cent to 92,100 tonnes from a year earlier last month.
China Eastern Airlines, the Shanghai-based carrier, also saw impressive growth in freight volume last month, carrying 95,800 tonnes of cargo, up 73.48 per cent from a year earlier. Passenger numbers grew 9.03 per cent to 3.5 million last month.
Shares in Air China closed at HK$6.85 yesterday, up 3.3 per cent, while China Eastern ended the day on HK$2.88, 2.86 per cent higher. The Hang Seng Index rose 2.43 per cent yesterday.
China Southern Airlines shares rose as much as 10 per cent yesterday
Over the Lunar New Year holiday, the Guangzhou-based airline carried this many passengers: 1.28m