Korean’s record profits confirm recovery

KOREAN Air has posted record results for the first quarter of 2010. Operating profit rose by nearly 3,300 per cent, 6.6 billion won (US$5.9 million) to 220.2 billion won ($197.6 million), from the same period last year. Net profit will be available in mid-May.

Even taking into account the depths that airfreight demand plunged last year – this is the highest it has been since the third quarter of 2007 – that’s still an impressive recovery. It is also the highest in 20 years, since 1991.

“Exports by IT companies pushed up the quarterly results,” Korean Air said.

Chief financial officer, Lee Sang Kyoon, said the airline is now predicting an operating profit for the year of 1 trillion won ($896 million) compared with its previous estimate of 800 billion won.

Cargo utilisation was 77.1 per cent, compared with 70.6 per cent last year.

Commentators are eagerly clinging to the results as further proof that the aviation and airfreight industries are making a come back. Korean is certainly confident about its future plans.

“From next year, we will aggressively expand international routes by raising their frequency,” said Walter Cho, a senior vice-president. “Our supply will soar from next year, too.”

Increases to the network will include new routes to the Maldives and more flights to Dubai and Hawaii.

Korean has plans to expand its fleet by 56 aircraft by 2016, with 10 of those in 2011, at a cost of $10 billion.

Share this story