China Southern Airlines has posted a 35% jump in profits for 2016.

Asia’s biggest carrier achieved a profit of 5.04 billion yuan ($731 million) over the previous year.

This came as the airline capitalised on a continued boom in both domestic and overseas trips by Chinese travellers, helped by a rise in the country’s middle classes.

The Beijing-based airline, ranked as the fourth largest in the world for passenger carryings, this week confirmed a US tie-up with America Airlines taking a $200 million stake.

China Southern said its performance last year was helped by a slump in global oil prices, as lower costs for jet fuel helped offset foreign-exchange losses.