Korean Air Lines flies beyond pandemic into the black
Korean Air Lines reported 134 billion won ($114 million) in net profit in the third quarter from a 385.9 billion won net loss a year earlier.
Sales jumped 44 percent on year to 2.23 trillion won, while operating profit jumped 5,671 percent to 438.6 billion won.
The cargo business reported 1.65 trillion won in sales, a record high and 60 percent higher than a year before. Korean Air Lines said there was an increase in air cargo demand due to the global supply chain crisis.
The airline said passenger demand remained low in the July-September period due to the spread of Covid-19 variants. But summer domestic travel and rise in demand for international travel to America raised its passenger sales to 331.9 billion won, 22 percent higher than a year earlier.
“The cargo business is forecast to remain robust through the fourth quarter with holiday and year-end peak demand as well as a continued supply imbalance” said the airline in a statement. “The airline will continue to operate its cargo-only passenger flights to maximize aircraft utilization and increase air cargo capacity.”
Korean Air Lines projected passenger demand will remain weak in the fourth quarter.
“But with more countries reopening their borders, prospects for increased passenger demand are more likely,” said the company.
Promising destinations include Hawaii, Guam, Chiang Mai and Spain.
The total number of inbound and outbound passengers that took international flights from Incheon International Airport jumped 56.6 percent on year in October to 309,000. That figure remained far lower than the monthly average of 5.93 million in 2019.
“Demand for international travel is projected to gradually recover starting in the second quarter of next year after more countries start to open up borders following the increasing vaccination rate,” said Park Seong-bong, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment.
BY JIN MIN-JI [email@example.com]