China Southern Airlines said its profit in the first half of 2008 rose fivefold on the back of continued renminbi appreciation, Bloomberg reported. Net income increased to US$123 million from US$24.4 million in the first six months of 2007, while operating revenue rose 9.1% to US$3.9 billion. The airline said that rising fuel prices and disruptions caused by the snowstorms and the May 12 Sichuan earthquake were offset by a rising currency, as fuel is purchased in US dollars. The airline, Asia’s largest by passenger volume, earlier unveiled plans to save US$189.3 million by reducing costs, including shaving the salaries of its executives by 10%. China Southern’s passenger volumes climbed 5.7% to 28 million in the first six months of the year.
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