Thursday, October 25, 2012

Korean Air's Earnings Soar

Korean Air achieved W3.4 trillion in revenues and an operating profit of W313.2 billion (US$1=W1,103) in the third quarter of 2012, the carrier said Thursday. Revenues were up 2.6 percent over the same period in 2011, and operating profit increased 30.5 percent.

It was the second time that Korean Air has exceeded the W300 billion mark in quarterly operating profit since 2010.

Net profit stood at W340 billion, swinging back into the black after three quarters.

Analysts attribute the recession-beating results to an aggressive push to upgrade the carrier's fleet, which led to record-high transport volume. Korean Air has been operating the Airbus A380 superjumbo jets on long-haul routes to the U.S. and Europe since last year.

Increased first and business class custom contributed to improved profitability.

On the other hand , In-Flight Meals Make Korean Air Top Food Exporter:

CJ Cheiljedang led Korean food manufacturers in terms of domestic sales last year, according to figures from the Korea Food and Drug Administration. Next came Nongshim, Lotte Chilsung Beverage, Lotte Confectionery, and Coca-Cola Korea.

But among food exporters Korean Air Catering topped the list with W196 billion (US$1=W1,110), according to the KFDA.

Korean Air operates two food processing plants, at Gimpo and Incheon airports, which can produce 50,000 meals a day and process about 20,000 kinds of in-flight meals, including Korean food.

Sixty percent of them are served on Korean Air and the rest is sold to about 40 airlines whose planes make stops in Korea.

Koo Eun-kyung of Korean Air explained that all in-flight meals on Korean Air are counted as exports because they are served in skies over international waters.

White sugar topped the list of Korean export food stuffs until 2009, but it was replaced by in-flight meals in 2010 amid increasing demand for air travel.

Korea's food industry, except for agricultural produce and liquor products, suffers a trade deficit, which rose 29 percent from W3.82 trillion in 2009 to W4.93 trillion last year.

Korean Air Makes Good on A380 Investment:

Korean Air's fleet of Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger jet, have carried more than 400,000 passengers since the nation's flagship airline began operating flights six months ago, it announced Monday.

According to the airline, its five super jumbo jets have flown a total of 409,000 passengers almost 6 million km as of Dec. 16.

Most passengers used the flight route from Incheon to Narita in Tokyo, the first service route operated by the aircraft, which welcomed a total of 141,770 fliers. This was followed by flights to Hong Kong (120,090 people), New York (85,771), Los Angeles (36,903) and Paris (15,475).

The average passenger load of the A380's five routes stood at 80 percent, but this jumped to 87 percent for flights heading to the French capital, or 83 percent for the Big Apple, 80 percent for Hong Kong, 78 percent for LA and 76 percent for Tokyo.

Notably, the number of passengers flying business-class on long-haul routes to New York, LA and Paris has soared in recent months.

Since the jets, which have their entire second floor given over to 94 business-class seats, went into service, the airlines' total number of business-class travelers has risen 41 percent to 27,637 from 19,551 during the corresponding period of 2010. The growth was considerably higher than that of first-class (30 percent) and economy-class (18 percent) seats.

Korean Air is planning to introduce its sixth A380 next year to enlarge its European flight paths. It will buy four more of the aircraft by 2014 with the goal of ferrying 3 million passengers around the world on the fleet annually starting from 2015, it said.

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