Korean Air shifts cargo routes as shipments fall

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Korean Air shifts cargo routes as shipments fall

Korean Air said Wednesday it adjusted its cargo flight schedules as the number of shipments fall due to global uncertainties including the U.S.-China trade war.

The airline’s profit from its cargo business fell 9.6 percent on year in the first half of this year, from 1.41 trillion won ($1.16 billion) to 1.27 trillion won, according to the company’s earnings report.

In an attempt to create new cargo demand, the company decided to add cargo services to Southeast Asian and South American markets, where there is potential for growth, a spokesperson from the airline said.

According to the airline, it started operating twice-weekly cargo flights from Incheon to Manila in May and from Incheon to Bangkok on Aug. 13.

The airline used to deliver cargo headed to the two destinations using the cargo space on passenger flights, but as many global companies move their production facilities to Southeast Asian countries, cargo demand has been on the rise.

The company also increased cargo flights from Incheon to South America from twice per week to three times per week from Aug. 23. The flight departs from Incheon and stops over in Anchorage and Miami, Brazil’s Sao Paulo, Chile’s Santiago, Peru’s Lima and Los Angeles before returning to Incheon. The airline said it is its longest-haul freighter route, taking roughly 70 hours per trip.

While the plane departs with mobile phone parts and auto parts from Incheon, it comes back mostly with fresh food like salmon, cherry, asparagus and mango from Chile and Peru to be exported to Asia.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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