Asiana Airlines A350
South Korea’s second largest full-service carrier Asiana Airlines Inc. boasted improvement in flight delays as the airliner struggles to regain consumer confidence and draw a potential candidate to take over the company put up for sale by parent group and creditors.
According to the carrier on Wednesday, Asiana Airlines’ on-time departure and arrival rate for the first five months this year rose 4.9 percentage points on domestic routes and 2.4 percentage points on international routes from a year ago.
The number of flights reporting departure delays by more than three hours due to maintenance also more than halved this year, it added. An averaged 0.23 percent of all aircrafts departed more than three hours late per month last year, but the ratio plunged to 0.09 percent in the January-May period this year.
Asiana Airlines owed the improvements to better weather conditions, eased congestion of airways and its regular preemptive repairs and maintenance efforts.
The carrier early this year drew up measures to enhance the reliability of its aircraft maintenance. On top of the 892.2 billion won maintenance plan for this year, it allocated an additional 68 billion won to buy more aircraft parts. Total annual budget for maintenance this year was up 30 percent from last year.
Asiana Airlines also is planning to add more new planes to have a fleet of 34 newest models by 2023 – 19 units of A350 and 15 units of A321 Neo. Four A350 units are added this year, and old planes will be reduced to 10 over the next four years.
In early April, its biggest shareholder Kumho Industrial Co. agreed to sell its entire 33.5 percent stake in the airline in return for 1.6 trillion won ($1.35 billion) in financial support from creditors to keep the debt-ridden carrier afloat. Asiana Airlines has been also putting efforts to restructure the business and improve the efficiency.
By Chun Gyung-woon and Lee Ha-yeon
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