SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea’s national flag carrier, said Monday it has offered a voluntary leave program to its employees amid deepening losses.
In the unpaid leave program, employees who have worked for the company for over two years can take a three-month period of leave starting in November this year and extend it by another three months through May next year, the company said in a statement.
Korean Air employs over 20,000 people.
The measure came as the company’s net losses widened to 458.13 billion won (US$387 million) in the January-June period from 314.74 billion won a year earlier due to a weak won and lower demand for cargo delivery.
Korean Air is expected to report poor earnings results for the third quarter of the year due to declining travel demand to Japan following the neighboring country’s restrictions on exports of key materials to South Korea in July.
On Monday, shares in Korean Air jumped by 5.6 percent to 24,500 won, far outperforming the broader KOSPI’s 1.1 percent gain.
Investors weighed signs of progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations and the full-service carrier’s efforts to reduce costs through the adoption of the unpaid leave program, analysts said.
“Airlines advanced today as they are set to benefit further as progress in the U.S.-China trade talks will help drive up shipping demand for semiconductors and other cargo volumes,” Kiwoom Securities Co. analyst Suh Sang-young said.