Korean Air expands cargo services to S. East Asia, S. America

September 4, 2019

Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea’s largest air carrier, said Wednesday it has expanded cargo flights to Southeast Asia and South America to cope with the global economic slowdown prompted by the U.S.-China trade war.

Korean Air said it has relaunched cargo flights to Manila and to Bangkok, with Boeing 777F aircraft to run twice a week on those routes. Before now, the airline used its passenger aircraft to carry goods on the routes.

The South Korean flag-carrier said demand for air freight in Southeast Asia has been rising as local companies have been shifting their production bases to the region in recent years.

Korean Air said it also increased its air freight flights to South America last month, from two to three flights per week. The South America-bound cargo flights depart Incheon and return to South Korea after making stops in the U.S, Brazil, Chile and Peru.

Planes leaving Incheon mostly carry electronic and automobile parts while returning freighters are filled with produce such as fruits and vegetables from Chile and Peru, the airline said.

Korean Air’s operating profit plunged 82 percent on-year to 41.9 billion won (US$34 million) in the first half of the year, while sales rose 0.8 percent on-year to 6.26 trillion won over the cited period.