China's airline industry made combined profits of Yn480m in the first eight months of this year, reported China Daily. The Civil Aviation Administration of China said that passenger traffic had grown 11 per cent yearon- year, showing that the public's confidence in air travel had not been dampened by last year's terrorist attacks on the US.
Despite this optimism, passenger volume at China Eastern Airlines, China's secondlargest carrier, fell 5.4 per cent in August compared with the same period last year. Its load factor fell 2.4 per cent to 71 per cent, even though it had taken steps to reduce its domestic capacity.
Aviation authorities said the fall was the result of the government's crackdown on illegal fare discounting. However, analysts quoted by South China Morning Post said that it might be symptomatic of a slowing economy.