China airlines ask for emergency aid

China Eastern asks for government aid for “big three”

Liu Shaoyong, chairman of China Eastern Airlines, has asked the Chinese government for a capital injection of between $18 billion and $20 billion to be made into the country’s “big three” state-owned airlines. The three carriers – Beijing-based Air China, Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines and Shanghai-based China Eastern – are facing mounting financial pressures, and it has been reported that their debt ratios all exceed 70%. Similar capital injections have been made before. Liu also asked the government to decrease domestic carriers’ tax burden.
Today it was reported that Air China reported a net profit of $1.12 billion for 2011, a dramatic fall of 41% from the previous year.