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Air China projects return to profit for 2009

Air China expects to report a profit for 2009, after it posted a loss during the previous year, as demand for passenger services recovered last year.

"The annual results of the company for 2009 are expected to show a turnaround from loss to profit as compared with the corresponding period of the previous year," says the carrier.

In 2008, Air China posted a net loss of 9.1 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) due to weak demand and losses on fuel hedging contracts. However, passenger services showed "a steady rebound" in 2009, says the airline.

"In particular, the domestic market demonstrated a steady growth contributing to the improvement of the results of the company," it adds.

Lower crude oil prices and effective cost control also helped return the airline to profit, says Air China.

"The increase in the fair value from fuel hedging contracts in 2009 contributed to the improvements in the company's results," it adds.

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