Fuel cost crashes Korean’s profit

THE world’s largest freight carrier, Korean Air Lines, has seen first quarter profits fall by over US$100 million against January-March 2010 figures.

High fuel prices and the disruption caused by natural disasters in Japan have translated into the 41 per cent dive. The airline posted 163 billion Korean won ($152 million) in consolidated operating profit down from 277 billion ($258 million) won a year earlier, as fuel costs soared by 30 per cent.

Net profit, however, jumped 50 per cent to 282 billion won ($262.6 million), thanks to currency gains from a stronger won.

The South Korean flag carrier said it expected cargo traffic to improve in the current quarter, driven by an elevation in post-earthquake demand and diversification efforts by global manufacturers to secure components and raw materials outside quake-hit Japanese suppliers.

Korean Air Lines will begin A380 services from June, and take delivery of its 787 Dreamliners in 2016, five years later than initially planned.

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