China: Hainan Airlines posts 208 m loss

BEIJING: Chinese regional carrier Hainan Airlines made a loss of 1.4 billion yuan (208 million dollars) in 2008 as high oil prices and dwindling passenger demand took their toll, state media reported Sunday.

The Shanghai-listed company said the loss was due to a rise in the value of oil in the first half of last year and a drop in demand in the second half due to the global financial crisis, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The net loss compared to a profit of 627 million yuan in 2007, Xinhua reported.

The airline, which recently halved its order for 50 passenger jets from Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer, flew more than 118,800 flights in 2008, down 19 percent from the previous year.