South Korea`s flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. continued solid growth in the second quarter, as strong cargo revenue from a boom in semiconductor exports helped to offset decreased passengers from China amid ongoing row over deployment of antimissile shied in Korea.
On Thursday, the airliner reported an 8.5 percent on-year increase in operating income to 172.8 billion won ($151 million) for the second quarter ended June. Sales rose 3.1 percent on year to 2.82 trillion won in the same period.
Shares of Korean Air finished Friday 3.3 percent lower at 35,400 won.
Passengers from international routes except for China all improved. Revenue from European routes gained 14 percent, 11 percent from Southeast Asia, 4 percent from Oceania and 1 percent from America.
Cargo revenue jumped in most routes including 21 percent in routes to and from Japan benefiting from the semiconductor industry boom as highly sensitive chips cannot be delivered by sea. Cargo planes remain highly booked for the remaining months of this year, making the growth outlook stable.
Korean Air said it will focus on creating new flight demand to counteract a reduction in Chinese passengers and its cargo division will remain bullish with a continued recovery in global economy and Korean exports.
By Kim Jung-hwan
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