Korean Air announces operating profit for 2020 despite the COVID-19 crisis


Korean Air posted an operating profit in 2020 despite the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. At its February 4 board meeting, the company announced provisional financial results for 2020 including $ 6.806 billion (KRW 7,405 billion) in sales and $ 219 million (KRW 238.3 billion) in profits. operating.

The decline in passenger demand due to COVID-19 continued throughout the year, resulting in a 40% drop in gross sales from the previous year. Passenger turnover fell 74% compared to 2019. On the other hand, cargo turnover increased by 66% thanks to the increase in the operating rate of cargo aircraft and to the use of immobilized passenger aircraft. Cargo sales have increased due to growing demand for COVID-19 test kits and auto parts, with some of the demand shifting from ocean freight to air freight.

The operating profit was achieved thanks to the strong cargo activity of Korean Air and the efforts of the company to reduce costs. At the same time, reduced passenger carrying capacity and falling oil prices have lowered fuel consumption and kerosene costs. Related costs, such as installation costs, have also been reduced due to the decrease in the number of passengers. Labour costs also declined slightly as employees voluntarily took time off. As a result, total operating expenses were reduced by 40% in 2020 compared to 2019.

The company recorded a net loss of $ 209.7 million (KRW 228.1 billion) due to net interest charges, but the loss was largely reduced from $ 514.3 million (KRW 568.7 billion) of net loss recorded the previous year.

Paris, February 19, 2021


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