Korean Air returns to profit in 2021 with 638.6 billion won net
Korean Air Lines swung back into the black in 2021 on strong cargo business and a recovery in passenger traffic.
In a preliminary earnings report released Thursday, the company reported a net profit of 638.6 billion won in 2021, compared to a net loss of 194.6 billion won in 2020.
Revenue rose 18.2 percent on year to 8.75 trillion won and operating profit surged 514.4 percent to 1.46 trillion won.
On a quarterly basis, net profit fell 44 percent on year to 403.5 billion won. Revenue rose 52 percent on year to 2.8 trillion won and operating profit rose 381 percent to 704.4 billion won.
Both quarterly and annual operating profits are record figures.
Its cargo business helped the carrier despite weak passenger traffic due to the pandemic.
The airline logged 2.18 trillion won in sales from cargo transportation in the fourth quarter, a record high and a 60.2 percent increase on year.
Rising demand for cargo flights during the end-of-year holiday season helped, leading to an increase in rates due to a shortage of available space.
The carrier said it regularly transports chips, batteries and cars, which will allow it to continue to generate notable sales from cargo. It will continue to operate cargo-only flights, actively responding to high demand.
Sales from passenger flights totaled 379.5 billion won, up 54.5 percent on year.
According to the company, the spread of Covid-19 variants delayed full-fledged recovery of its passenger business, but quarantine-free travel bubbles to Guam, Singapore and Hawaii helped increase the number of flights.
The airline's shares fell 2.02 percent to 26,650 won on Thursday.
BY LEE TAE-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]