9 of top 10 airline stocks are Chinese, gauge shows

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Bloomberg’s gauge of the airline sector shows that over the past three months, almost all of the ten world’s strongest airline stocks have been Chinese, with all shares except Air China showing two-digit gains. 

The largest gain was shown by low-cost Spring Airlines (22%). The only non-Chinese company on the list is InterGlobe Aviation, which operates IndiGo (13% gain).

Although Chinese carriers were heavily impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, with the Big Three – China Southern Airlines (ZNH), China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA) and Air China – losing over 8 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) each in the first half of 2020, they had a chance to recover due to a strong domestic market.

Chinese airlines relied heavily on domestic travel even before the pandemic, and had a chance to capitalize on that as internal travel restrictions were lowered after the disease was ostensibly brought under control within China. 

While international travel remains almost non-existent, most of the world’s airlines are struggling to recover. The best results are shown by the ones relying on domestic travel and a lack of internal restrictions within their respective countries.

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