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AVIATION | Tony Chua, Hong Kong

Air China July passenger traffic up 6.7%

The airline acquires six new aircrafts to address its cargo capacity, which dropped 0.8%.

Air China’s Passenger traffic for July achieved a higher year-over-year growth than the increase in capacity. Passenger capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK), was up 2.5% year-over-year while passenger traffic, measured by Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK), rose by 6.7%. Capacity on domestic routes decreased by 0.8%, while RPK climbed 4.7% year-over-year. Capacity on international routes grew 7.0%, with RPK increasing by 9.1%. Capacity on regional routes expanded 11.9%, with RPK rising by 16.3%. The passenger load factor was 86.6%, up 3.4 percentage points year-over-year. The passenger load factor for international, domestic and regional routes increased by 1.6, 4.6 and 3.2 percentage points respectively year-over-year.

Cargo capacity, measured in Available Freighter Tonne Kilometres (AFTK), dropped 0.8% year-over-year in July. Revenue Freighter Tonne Kilometres (RFTK) increased by 1.1%, and freighter tonnage carried decreased by 0.2%, compared with July 2010. The cargo load factor was 60.4%, an increase of 1.2 percentage points year-over-year.

On 1 July, the company launched a new international flight between Beijing and Gimpo seven times a week and between Tianjin and Hailar seven times a week. Starting from 2 July, the company launched a new flight between Tianjin and Ürümqi six times a week. On 8 July, the company launched a new flight between Chengdu and Shigatse four times a week. Starting from 16 July, the company launched a new flight between Wuhan and Dalian and Harbin three times a week. And starting from 19 July, the company also launched a new flight between Chengdu and Korla three times a week, according to an Air China report.

During the month, Air China purchased a total of 286,000 tonnes of jet fuel at an average price of RMB7,684 per tonne, a year-over-year surge of 35%. The average jet fuel purchase price at international airports was RMB6,830 per tonne, and the average purchase price of jet fuel for international flights at the top six Chinese airports was RMB7,117 per tonne, representing steep increases of 37% and 35% year-over-year respectively. The average jet fuel purchase price for domestic flights was RMB8,136 per tonne, a rise of 35% compared with July last year.

During the month, the company added six aircraft, including one B777-300ER aircraft, one B737-800 aircraft, two A320 aircraft, one A330 aircraft and one B747-400F cargo aircraft. As at the end of July, Air China operated a fleet of 298 aircraft.

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