Air China will be the world’s most valuable airline by market capitalization within the next three years powered by its multi-year growth potential. Chinese carriers will benefit from double-digit earnings growth driven by strong demand, higher cost economies and capacity additions.
Revenue growth driven by capacity expansion
Chinese airlines revenue growth will outpace both regional and global peers in 2018-20 driven primarily by a significant capacity and network expansion.
From 2012-17, Chinese airlines’ revenue increased by a CAGR of 4.3%, outpacing Delta’s topline CAGR of 2.4%. From 2018-20, Chinese carriers’ revenue is forecasted to accelerate at double the pace, at a CAGR of 9.7%, whereas Delta top-line will grow at a CAGR of 3%.
Double-digit profit CAGR for Chinese airlines
Chinese airlines’ profit grew at a CAGR of 16% in 2012-17, lagging U.S. carriers Delta (18%) and United (28%). Demand, lower costs and consolidation in the U.S. aviation market helped U.S. carriers’ profitability.
For 2018-20, Chinese carriers’ profit is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of over 20%, whereas earnings growth for U.S. carriers is expected to be muted.
Chinese airlines’ capacity will grow 50% by 2022
Bloomberg Intelligence estimates show domestic annual capacity growth through 2022 at a CAGR of 9% in the low-case scenario, 9.7% in the expected case, and 11.2% in a high-case scenario.
Continued international expansion by Chinese airlines will also fuel additional aircraft demand, benefiting the two big global manufacturers Boeing and Airbus.
Chinese carriers will add significant capacity over the next three years. According to the latest annual reports, the flag carrier Air China group will add 170 aircraft to its fleet in 2018-20 with 54 in 2018, 63 in 2019 and 53 in 2020. China Southern will also add 220 aircraft.
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