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China's big 3 airlines rake in $5bn net cash despite record loss

Major state-owned carriers enjoy ample funding while smaller rivals scramble

TOKYO -- China's three state-owned airlines reported a combined 14 billion yuan ($1.98 billion) in net losses for the first three months of the year, their worst ever quarterly performances since the trio became publicly listed companies in 2006.

Yet despite these losses, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Air China all ended the quarter with far more cash on hand than when it began, as the key state-owned companies were able to secure bond issuances and bank loans despite the crisis facing the industry.

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