Korean Air beat the previous quarter’s record operating profit as the airline posted revenue of KRW 2.8052 trillion (US$2.3168 billion) and an operating profit of KRW 788.4 billion (US$651.1 million) in the first quarter.
The airline’s cargo flight operations pulled in revenue of KRW 2.1486 trillion (or US$1.7 billion) in the first quarter. Korean Air said it maximized revenue through increasing freighter operation rates and using grounded passenger jets on cargo routes.
The airline noted that external factors like global supply chain bottlenecks, reduction in capacity on Europe routes and high fuel prices continue to weigh on the air cargo market.
The carrier sees the recovery of passenger demand to gradually boost global air cargo capacity with belly space, but instability in regional air cargo markets is expected to persist due to major Chinese city lockdowns and the war in Ukraine, it noted.
Korean Air added it is taking preemptive measures to maintain its cargo capacity through close management of ground handling operations and flexible network operations.