China Southern Airlines (ZHN.NYSE, 1055.HKG, 600029.SHE) will adjust its cabin structure to expand the ratio of premier-economy seats and reduce first-class seats, in response to Beijing’s austerity drive, South China Morning Post reported, citing a Monday statement by company chairman Si Xianmin. A Ministry of Finance regulation issued in January specifies that all department or bureau-level directors are to fly economy class on business trips. The mainland’s largest airline by fleet size, China Southern reported a 24.2% drop in net profit to US$320 million (RMB 1.99 billion) last year. The austerity drive has also posed challenges to the airline’s rivals.
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