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China's largest airline sees profits ahead — and is bullish on Europe

China Southern says passenger demand rose by 10% in 2017

Next year is looking strong for China Southern Airlines, the company's president told CNBC on Wednesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Fortune Global forum in Guangzhou, China, Tan Wan Geng, the president of China Southern Airlines, looked ahead to the coming year.

"The common view is our industry is entering a profitable cycle, so we are quite happy for China Southern. We have the very largest fleet [of any Asian airline] and we are confident about the future," he said.

Oil prices, a major cost for airlines, are "stable" for now, Tan said. Looking forward, he said, the company expects crude prices to remain relatively stable.

Tan highlighted his company's interest in Europe, especially given the positive economic situation there: "Right now the information, the message, is the whole Europe economy is recovering. We like to hear that, and we expect that market to recover."