[Photo provided by Tway Air Co.]
South Korean low-cost carrier Tway Air Co. posted record high operating profit for the first quarter on a successful mix of flight services to both domestic and overseas destinations amid growing travelers from Korea riding on stronger won and increased holidays.
Tway Air said Tuesday that its operating profit for the first three months of this year jumped 194 percent from a year ago period to 46.1 billion won ($42.7 million). The figure is the highest-ever for a quarter since the company’s inception in 2003 and also tantamount to 47.1 billion won operating profit for full 2017.
Its revenue jumped 50 percent on year to 203.8 billion won and operating profit margin hit 23 percent.
The stellar performance comes after bolstering operation efficiency by expanding domestic routes and running special overseas flight routes, said the company. It services a flight route connecting Osaka, Japan and Guam on top of operating between Korea’s major cities and those in neighboring countries.
Sharing its strong earnings with its employees, it gave out special incentives in February and is planning for another batch in August, according to the company.
The budget carrier is also preparing for an initial public offering in the second half of this year. It appointed Shinhan Investment Corp. and Daishin Securities Co. as advisors in October last year and submitted a preliminary IPO review to the Korea Exchange last month.
The company is expected to use the proceeds from the IPO on purchasing long-haul carriers. In December, it announced it will be adding up to eight of Boeing’s latest 737 MAX 8 airplanes to its fleet by late 2020. The model is capable of flying up to eight hours, which would enable the budget carrier to add longer flights to popular destinations such as Singapore, Bali and Central Asia.
By Moon Ji-woong and Cho Jeehyun
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