KOREA: Korean Air eyes strong 2011

Korean Air Lines, the world’s top freight carrier among commercial airlines, posted a smaller-than-expected operating profit recently amid heightened geopolitical risks and higher fuel costs, but set a strong full-year target on expected growth in demand. South Korea’s No.1 airline is expected to see an improvement in profits this year on upbeat prospects for passenger […]


Korean Air Lines, the world’s top freight carrier among commercial airlines, posted a smaller-than-expected operating profit recently amid heightened geopolitical risks and higher fuel costs, but set a strong full-year target on expected growth in demand. South Korea’s No.1 airline is expected to see an improvement in profits this year on upbeat prospects for passenger and cargo traffic. The company earned an operating profit of 189 billion won (US$168.9 million) in the quarter ended 31 December. The company made an operating profit of 154 billion won in the year-ago quarter. Korean Cargo’s revenue grew 1.9 per cent in 2010 to US$863 million. The carrier said it expects total 2011 revenues and operating profit to exceed 2010 on continuing growth in both passenger and cargo demand, while expanding its fleet. The company set a 2011 target of a 14 per cent jump in operating profit to 1.3 trillion won versus a year ago. Anticipating an improved market, the carrier has expanded its capital spending 33 per cent “to support Korean Air’s fleet expansion plan,” which will scale up capacity in an Asia cargo market already seeing a sharp rebound in available capacity. Korean says its cargo traffic grew 1.7 per cent in 2010 over the year before, when demand fell sharply during the global trade downturn. Peak season demand fueled the increase, Korean said, with auto and machinery parts and consumer electronics leading the export expansion.