South Korea’s full-service carrier Asiana Airlines Inc. on Thursday reported a 48.7 percent on-year increase in operating income for the second quarter ended June sharp reduction in passengers from China amid ongoing diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing over the deployment of United States’ Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in Korea.
According to the company’s regulatory filing on Thursday, the country’s second-largest carrier posted 42.8 billion won ($37.5 million) in operating profit on a consolidated basis in the April to June period, up 48.7 percent from the same period last year. Sales rose 8.5 percent to 1.49 trillion won over the same period, whereas net loss widened to 74.8 billion won from 26.7 billion won due to foreign currency loss.
Both operating income and sales mark the highest for the second quarter since 2011, thanks to efforts made by the carrier to diversify destinations and introduce new equipment.
Shares of Asiana closed Thursday at 5,250 won, up 1.94 percent or 100 won from the previous session.
For the first half of 2017, operating profit jumped 7 percent to 69.1 billion won on sales of 2.9 trillion won, up 7.5 percent from the same period last year. Net income in the January to June period also increased 19.9 percent to 21.3 billion won.
Asiana Airlines said it offset passenger losses from China through expansion of routes to other destinations. It increased flights to Southeast Asia and Japan to make up for the lower travel demand from China and enhanced marketing on destinations to and from the United States and Europe.
The carrier raised 55 percent higher revenue from its Europe routes in the second quarter compared with a year-ago period.
Asiana Airlines also saw 11 percent higher revenue from domestic flights during the cited period due to increased travel to Jeju Island.
Cargo revenue jumped 23.8 percent on-year benefiting from the semiconductor boom.
By Kim Jung-hwan
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