SEOUL, Nov. 24 (Korea Bizwire) – Jin Air Co., a major South Korean budget carrier, will seek to become a global industry leader after its listing on the country’s main stock market, the company head said Friday.
Jin Air Co., the low-cost carrier unit of Hanjin KAL Corp., is slated to debut on the main bourse Dec. 8 and its market capitalization is estimated to reach 1 trillion won (US$920 million) after the initial public offering (IPO).
“Jin Air is trying to secure an unparalleled competitive edge through an overhaul of its mid- and long-haul routes,” CEO Choi Jung-ho said at a news conference on the planned IPO. “We will fly high to become Asia’s representative low-cost carrier and ultimately the best industry player in the world.”
Jin Air took off as a subsidiary of Hanjin KAL, a holding company which also operates the national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. as a full-service carrier affiliate.
The low-fare airline has made concerted efforts to hone its competitiveness. It has adopted a set of safety operation standards similar to that of Korean Air and is the sole domestic low-cost carrier to operate medium-large B777-200ER jets.
Jin Air has also become the first domestic low-budget airline to serve long-haul routes to such destinations as Honolulu and the Australian city of Cairns. In January, it plans to open a route to Johor Bahru, the second-largest city in Malaysia.
Such efforts have helped Jin Air post stellar performances over the past three years, with sales and earnings soaring more than 40 percent and 70 percent, respectively.
In the first nine months of this year, Jin Air posted an operating profit of 78 billion won on sales of 656.4 billion won. Its operating margin for the three quarters came to 12 percent, the highest among local players. Its operating profit came to 52.3 billion won for all of 2016 with sales reaching 719.7 billion won.
Hanjin KAL will become the controlling shareholder of Jin Air with a 60 percent stake after it is listed. Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities Co. is the lead manager of the IPO.
Jin Air now operates 24 passenger jets — four B777-200ER jets and 20 B737-800s — on four domestic and 32 international routes, including those to Hawaii, Guam and Asian cities.