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Korean Air, Asiana H1 net losses widen on pandemic

All News 17:15 August 14, 2020

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc. -- South Korea's two biggest carriers -- suffered widened losses in the first half from a year earlier due to the impact of the new coronavirus on demand, the companies said Friday.

From January to June, Korean Air's net losses deepened to 619.49 billion won (US$523 million) from 482.01 billion won in the same period of last year, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Asiana's net losses also widened to 633.26 billion won in the first six months from 291.62 billion won a year ago, the company said in a filing.

This file photo, taken July 29, 2020, shows planes parked at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

This file photo, taken July 29, 2020, shows planes parked at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

The poor consolidated net results were mainly attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the airline industry hard amid virus fears in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, however, the two full-service carriers focused on obtaining more cargo-carrying orders to offset lower travel demand. This helped them report improved parent-based earnings results in the June quarter.

Helped by cargo demand, Korean Air shifted to a net profit of 162.4 billion won in the second quarter from a net loss of 380.78 billion won a year ago. Asiana swung to a net profit of 116.15 billion won from a net loss of 183.14 billion won during the same period.

The two carriers utilized some of their idling passenger jets as cargo planes in a move to ride out the current virus crisis.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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