(24 Mar 2021) China Airlines has reported a consolidated operating revenue of TWD 115.25 billion (approximately US$4 billion), a consolidated operating profit of TWD 2.184 billion, a consolidated pretax loss of TWD 654 million, a consolidated net loss of TWD 280 million, and TWD 140 million in net income attributable to owners of the company.
Earnings per share (EPS) was TWD 0.03, up TWD 0.25 compared to the TWD 0.22 loss per share over the same period last year.
COVID19-related border restrictions and strict quarantine measures resulted in a drastic drop in the number of travelers and widespread flight cancellations. The global pandemic also showed no signs of abating in the fourth quarter with Taiwan tightening restrictions again in response to new strains of COVID19, reducing passenger demand even further. As a result, 2020 passenger revenue was reduced by 76.93% compared to 2019.
In the cargo business, the global supply of cargo slots was significantly reduced due to canceled passenger flights. China Airlines adapted to the imbalance in supply and demand by using its eighteen Boeing 747 freighters and the newly introduced Boeing 777 freighters to maximize cargo revenues. In the fourth quarter, the airline took advantage of the traditional peak season and hit a new record for single-quarter cargo revenue. As a result, 2020 cargo revenue was up 87.06% compared to 2019.
Opportunities offered by the transfer of sea freight should continue to generate steady demand in the air transport market in the first half of the year. This along with steady growth in the stay-at-home economy, e-commerce and related communications equipment will see China Airlines continue to optimize its freighter routes to the central US and the US east coast.
The business will be expanded by adding more services to increase the supply of cargo slots. The airline is planning to increase services on European routes, whilst stopovers in Delhi and Mumbai will also be used to tap into India’s market potential and boost revenue. In Asia, new freighter destinations such as Ningbo and Tianjin in China are now also in the planning stages.
China Airlines is continuing to optimize its fleet and a total of 21 freighters will be available to the airline this year, including three 777F and the existing eighteen 747F.
As for passenger aircraft, deliveries of the new Airbus A321neo passenger aircraft are scheduled to commence this year. The more fuel-efficient new aircraft types will reduce carbon emissions, improve service quality, and reduce unit cost. They will also help to improve route margins.