SEOUL, March 23 (Korea Bizwire) – Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea’s No. 1 airline, said Thursday it will increase flights on international routes and add fuel-efficient planes on the routes to help buoy its bottom line.
In the coming months, Korean Air plans to gradually expand flights on routes to major cities in Europe and the United States to absorb higher outbound travel demand during the peak season that starts in March and ends in October, it said in a statement.
To attract customers and cut costs, the country’s biggest passenger carrier also plans to introduce the fuel-efficient Dreamliner B787-9 into its profitable routes starting in June, it said.
Korean Air received one B787-9 in February, with four additional B787-9s scheduled to be delivered by 2017 and five more by 2019, a company spokeswoman said.
The company aims to achieve 12 trillion won (US$11 billion) in sales this year, backed by the expansion of flights on core international routes and companywide cost-cutting efforts.
For the whole of 2016, its net losses slightly narrowed to 557 billion won from 563 billion won due to one-off costs involving its capital injection into the now-defunct Hanjin Shipping Co.
During the same period, its operating profit rose 27 percent on-year to 1.12 trillion won on sales of 11.73 trillion won, also up 1.6 percent from a year earlier.