SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — Asiana Airlines Inc. will transform itself into a passenger carrier that mainly provides service on long-haul routes to better boost profitability, the company’s president said Tuesday.
For the past three decades, the country’s second-biggest full-service carrier by sales has focused on short and medium-haul routes mainly heading to Asian countries.
But low-cost carriers have expanded operations to effectively challenge Asiana’s business, while its bigger local rival Korean Air Lines Co. has further cemented its leading position on long-haul routes to Europe and the United States.
To better move forward, Asiana Airlines plans to beef up its fleet by gradually introducing a total of 30 A350 passenger jets by 2025 that can allow it to operate on more international routes, Asiana President and Chief Executive Kim Soo-cheon said in a press conference.
Four A350s were added to the company’s fleet in 2017, and two more will be introduced in April and July of this year. Asiana currently operates 82 planes on 89 routes, including 78 international ones.
In the January-September period, Asiana posted a net profit of 50.11 billion won (US$46 million), down 71 percent from 170.42 billion won a year earlier. Operating profit fell 13 percent on-year to 188.06 billion won on sales of 4.58 trillion won, a 6.5 percent on-year gain.
Its full-year earnings results will be released on Wednesday.