China Eastern airline says profit up 44%

China Eastern airline says profit up 44%

Chinese airline China Eastern says its net profit rose 44% in 2014 from a year earlier, as fuel costs fell and passenger numbers increased.

Net profit at the Shanghai-based firm was 3.4 billion yuan ($A700.77 million) last year, it said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday.

“This result was also primarily due to the continuous improvement of the Group’s operating abilities and the decrease of jet fuel prices, as well as adjustments to the retirement benefit policies of our employees,” China Eastern said.

The number of passengers travelling with the airline rose about six per cent to reach nearly 84 million, it added.

China Eastern is China’s third largest airline, operating 485 passenger airliners and 12 freighters at the end of last year, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported.

Australian flagship carrier Qantas had been hoping to form a partnership with the Chinese airline but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) indicated this week it was against the proposal.

China’s gross domestic product grew 7.4 per cent last year, the slowest pace in nearly a quarter of a century.

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