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Korean Air ends 2020 with US$98m profit, cargo sales up 66pc

KOREAN Air Lines has reported a consolidated operating profit of KWR109 billion (US$97

09 February 2021 - 19:00
KOREAN Air Lines has reported a consolidated operating profit of KWR109 billion (US$97.55 million) in 2020, as cargo sales helped offset a slump in passenger travel on the back of coronavirus restrictions.

While the airline managed to avoid an annual loss in 2020, operating profits were down 58 per cent from KWR257 billion in 2019, the company said in a regulatory filing.



Cargo sales surged 66 per cent to KWR 4.3 trillion won in 2020 from a year earlier, while passenger sales slumped 74 per cent.



Cargo sales were underpinned by the airline's strategy to increase the operation rate of cargo planes and utilise idle passenger planes for transport, the airline said in a statement.



'Demand for covid-19 diagnostic kits and auto parts has increased, and some sea cargo demand has transferred to air transport, driving the increase in air cargo sales,' the airline said as reported by Reuters.



Air cargo demand and freight rates remained unusually strong in January because of tight capacity, according to data provider CLIVE Data Services.



Korean Air's acquisition of Asiana Airlines Inc, announced last year, is on track and awaiting approval from antitrust authorities, a spokeswoman said.


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