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China Eastern Reports Loss of 2.8b Yuan in 2006
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China Eastern Airlines, one of China's three state-owned carriers, said it lost 2.78 billion yuan (US$360 million) in 2006, compared with a net income of 60 million yuan in 2005.

Last year's loss was equivalent to 0.57 yuan per share. The year previous it had earnings of 0.01 yuan per share, the company said in its annual report on Friday.

Using international accounting standards the loss was actually 3.31 billion yuan, noted the report.

The airline attributes the loss to rising fuel prices and fiercer competition caused by the increasing fleet size of other airlines and new licenses that were granted to more private airlines.

China Eastern carried more than 35 million passengers in 2006, compared with 24 million in 2005. Seventy-one percent of its seats were filled last year compared to 69 percent the previous year.

China Eastern is the only one of China's three state-owned air carriers that reported loss in 2006. Air China posted 3.2 billion yuan in net profit, while China Southern Airlines earned 118 million yuan.

(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2007)

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