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Southern Airlines forecasts loss for 2008

China Southern Airlines Co, the nation's largest airline by fleet size, on Thursday forecasted a loss for 2008 due to weak travel demand and high oil prices.


In a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the Guangzhou-based carrier said the unaudited loss was due to a marked decline in air travel demand caused by global economic slowdown and high domestic fuel prices.


The airline posted a net profit of 1.852 billion yuan ($271 million), or 0.42 yuan per share, in 2007.


The airlines faced a tough time in 2008. China Eastern Airlines Co, the nation's third largest airline, on Monday forecasted a "huge" loss for 2008 on weak travel demand and 6.2 billion yuan loss in the fair value of fuel hedging contracts.


Shares of China Southern in Shanghai dropped 0.9 percent to 3.33 yuan as of Thursday morning.


(China Daily January 15, 2009)