Korean Air has reported an operating profit of
100.1 billion KRW for the third quarter of 2009 compared to loss
of 25.1 billion KRW a year earlier, on a 14.7% drop in operating
expense thanks to lower fuel prices and a stronger Korean Won, as
well as better performance in its international passenger
During the quarter, the airline achieved
net income of 264 billion KRW compared to a loss of 684.1 billion
KRW in the previous year. Operating revenue held steady at 2476.6
billion KRW during the quarter in spite of a challenging operating
environment for the aviation industry.
International passenger business performed well during the quarter
and remained the largest contributor to operating revenue with a
55.7% share, up 2.1 percentage points from the previous year.
Passenger sales from Japan were up 36.7% Y-o-Y on a stronger Yen
against the Won. Passenger traffic on US routes also improved
following the implementation of the Visa Waiver Agreement.
International passenger capacity and traffic were up
3.7% and 4.4% Y-o-Y to 19,428 million ASK and 14,516 million RPK
during the quarter.
In the month of September 2009, international
passenger capacity and traffic were particularly strong, rising
9.4% and 11.6% Y-o-Y, respectively, as the world economy showed
signs of a recovery. Easing concerns over the spread of the H1N1
influenza virus also helped revive demand for air travel.
The capacity of the airline’s cargo business
was down 6.5% Y-o-Y to 2,782 million AFTK on falling global
demand. On a month to month basis, however, demand for cargo rose
gradually as reflected in an improvement in capacity, from 898
million AFTK in July to 980 million AFTK in September this year.
During the reporting period, Korean Air made concerted efforts
to maximize the profitability of the cargo business through
different initiatives, including active sales promotion, capacity
reduction and route restructuring.
To expand its
fleet, the airline has orders for
Boeing 787s and
Airbus 380s. One aircraft will be delivered by
the end of this year, and the airline expects to add seven more to
its fleet in 2010 and another 15 in 2010.
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