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China's big 3 airlines warn of up to $6bn in losses for 2020

Despite heavy hit, state-owned trio poised to top global air passenger ranking

A China Southern Airlines Airbus A380 plane to Guangzhou prepares for takeoff at Daxing International airport in Beijing.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- While benefiting from a faster recovery in domestic travel than other international carriers, China's three big state-owned airlines warned Friday that they expect combined net losses of up to $6 billion for 2020.

China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Air China estimate net losses for last year to be between 31.2 billion yuan and 38.8 billion yuan ($4.85 billion and $6.03 billion), compared with profits of 12.2 billion yuan in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, according to separate announcements after trading hours.

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