Korean Air, Asiana to cut domestic cargo operations

20-Aug-2019 Intellasia | KoreaTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The country’s two full-service carriers, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, will halt parts of their highly unprofitable domestic cargo operations starting October, in an effort to fight decreasing profitability.

The move comes as each of the two airlines posted over 100 billion won ($82.6 million) in operating losses for the second quarter.

According to Korean Air’s website, starting October 1, it will halt cargo operations at three local airports in Cheongju, Daegu, and Gwangju.

“The decision comes as there has been a continuous deficit from cargo operations. We are unsure when we will resume it,” a Korean Air official said.

Asiana Airlines also said on its cargo website that it will halt operations at the same three airports as Korean Air, starting October.

“The decision was made to better curb deficit. From October, we will only operate cargo services on the Gimpo-Jeju route,” an Asiana official said.

Experts believe the two airlines are trying to ditch several of their cargo routes permanently, as deficits continue to rise.

Compared to last year, cargo volumes carried through the airports have been dropping, with an 8.3 percent reduction for Daegu from 2017 to 2018 and a 7.6 percent drop for Cheongju.

Local carriers have been suffering profit decreases, both in cargo and passenger operations, and the situation is unlikely to improve soon.

Koreans are boycotting trips to Japan amid the ongoing “Boycott Japan” movement in protest of Japans’ trade curbs following Korean court rulings to compensate individual South Korean victims of forced labour during WWII.

Additionally, the Chinese government recently decided to bar foreign-based carriers from launching new scheduled routes to the country for two months. The pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong is also making Koreans avoid trips to Hong Kong.



Category: Korea

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