China Airlines and EVA Air reported operating profits for their latest quarterly financial results, placing them among the few airlines to turn a profit during a pandemic-induced economic downturn. 

For the three months ended 30 June, both carriers made a strong comeback from a loss-making previous quarter — despite a drop in revenue. 

Cargo proved to be a bright spot, with each carrier reporting an uptick in cargo revenues, offsetting an overall revenue decline. 

China Airlines made an operating profit of NT$2.75 billion ($93.4 million), a significant increase from the NT$572 million profit it reported the same period last year. 

Revenue for the period fell 38.6% to NT$26.3 billion, while costs and expenses decreased 44% year on year to NT$23.6 billion.

The SkyTeam carrier reported a net profit of NT$2.5 billion for the quarter, reversing the net loss of NT$442 million it made last year. 

As for EVA Air, it saw its operating profit shrink to NT$184 million, compared to a NT$1.1 billion profit reported last year. 

Revenue for the period fell about 56% to NT$19.3 billion, while costs and expenses tumbled 55.3% to NT$19.1 billion. 

The carrier made a net loss of NT$613 million for the quarter, reversing the net profit of NT$33 million it made last year. Still, this was a smaller net loss compared to the earlier quarter, where it reported a NT$1.22 billion net loss. 

The Taiwanese carriers’ fortunes stand in stark contrast to their competitors in and around the region, many of whom have reported steep losses, or have warned of material financial losses.

China Airlines and EVA Air join Korean Air as the only Asian carriers so far to have turned a profit in the latest quarter. Korean Air reported a W149 billion ($126 million) operating income and W162 billion net income for the April to June period, compared with a W102 billion operating loss and net losses of W381 billion a year before.