Taiwan’s two biggest carriers, China Airlines and EVA Air, both posted operating profits in Q2 this year. The profits come despite steep drops in revenue and passenger flights, offset by massive cargo growth. With these results, China Airlines and EVA Air join their South Korean counterparts as the few airlines turning a profit in 2020.
Profits led by cargo
China Airlines reported an operating profit of $96.1 million (NT$2.75bn) for Q2 2020, reversing a $20mn loss from the same time last year. Revenues fell by 38% this quarter as passenger load factor remains in the 20% range. Despite this, cargo revenues surged by 115%, offsetting losses from passenger flights.
This cargo growth has held on beyond just Q2, with China Airlines showing a 102% cargo revenue increase for September as well. While cargo load factors have gone by only 5%, monthly cargo yield (freight revenue per ton-kilometer) has increased by 58% due to a rise in freight rates this year.
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EVA Air has had a similar experience this year. The airline reported an