Asiana's losses narrow in first quarter
Asiana Airlines continued to lose money in the first quarter, but at a sharply reduced rate.
On Monday, Asiana reported a 230.4 billion won ($205.71 million) net loss for the first three months of the year, a 58 percent decline from a year earlier.
Revenue fell 30.6 percent in the same period to 783.4 billion won.
But cargo transportation to Southeast Asian countries, America and Europe was a bright spot. Products transported ranged from electronic devices to personal protective equipment like face masks, anti-contamination clothing and goggles.
Asiana remodeled two of its passenger planes last year to transport more cargo. The company plans to remodel two more.
Operation of chartered flights and so-called flights-to-nowhere -- joy rides that depart and land at Incheon International Airport -- also helped the company’s profitability, according to Asiana Airlines.
The airline “will strive to improve profitability by actively operating chartered flights in the second quarter,” said Asiana in a statement Monday.
Asiana carried 930,232 passengers in the first quarter, down 70 percent on year. Total cargo transported during the same period was down by 10 percent to 182,433 tons.
Asiana Airlines is still awaiting approval to be acquired by Korean Air Lines.
Approval from nine countries is needed for the deal to go through. So far, only Turkey has given its approval.
Korea's budget carriers also continued to report losses.
Jin Air, which is 56 percent owned by Hanjin KAL, saw its losses grow.
Jin Air’s net loss in the first quarter was 72.1 billion won, up 57 percent on year.
The airline’s revenues fell 69.5 percent on year to 43.9 billion won.
Air Busan, a budget carrier 41 percent owned by Asiana Airlines, reported an 85.46 billion won net loss Monday, up 38 percent on year.
The carrier reported 31.96 billion won in revenue, down 65.7 percent on year.
BY JIN MIN-JI [email@example.com]