The airline has reported net income of $113 million for the three months ending March, which was way ahead of expectations. The carrier may also benefit from the opening of the Shanghai World Expo in May after the acquisition of Shanghai Airlines.
The airline boosted first-quarter passenger numbers 43%, helped by the takeover of Shanghai Air and China’s economic growth.
China’s air passengers for the first quarter increased 17% from a year earlier to 61 million people, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China. Which means it is no surprise Wu Longxue, director of finance and accounting, told reporters in Hong Kong that China Eastern expects to report an operating profit this year.
BusinessWeek reported the carrier said it was seeking foreign strategic investors this year to help improve management and operations. Luo Zhuping, executive director of China Eastern, said, however, that “no concrete talks are underway” with potential foreign strategic investors.