Air China expects to raise service levels and competitiveness through tie-ins with a trio of western carriers.
The airline deepened strategic co-operation with Cathay Pacific in the first half of the year and advanced the preparation of joint venture arrangements with Lufthansa, Air Canada and Air New Zealand.
“When these joint venture arrangements are formally launched, our passengers will enjoy more convenience in their travels and we will be able to increase our service quality and competitiveness in the relevant markets,” Air China said while reporting an improved first half performance.
The airline launched routes from Bejing to Budapest, Minsk and Melbourne and Chengdu to Colombo in the period and raised frequency on long haul flights from the Chinese capital to Los Angeles, Paris and Milan.
Fourteen domestic routes were also added in addition to more flights from Beijing to Guiyang, Lanzhou, Yinchuan, Fuzhou and Zhanjiang.
Air China took delivery of 28 aircraft in the six months and retired nine older models.
The airline said: “In the first half of 2015, demand in the domestic market grew at a relatively faster pace. With domestic consumption moving up-market, out-bound travel remained hot, creating strong demand in the international market as well.
“We took advantage of the growth in domestic and international markets by deploying additional capacity in the two sectors at the most opportune time to ensure that our aircraft could match the routes and cater to the market demand.”
Net revenue for the period amounted to RMB47.50 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of 11.77%. This led to a pre-tax profit of almost RMB560 million.
The airline said it maintained an “optimistic view” on the aviation market for the second half of the year.
“We expect domestic passenger service to continue the growth trend seen in the first half of 2015, international outbound travelling to continue to grow rapidly, and fuel price to maintain at a relatively low level,” Air China reported.
“Industry competition will further intensify while foreign exchange fluctuation will increase.
“In light of these opportunities and challenges, the group will adhere to its prudent management precepts, firmly implement its strategies, and solidify and expand its competitive advantages, in order to provide our shareholders and the society with even better returns.”
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