Korean Air suspending cargo operations at three airports

Korean Air (KE, Seoul Incheon) will suspend its operation of cargo terminals and related services at three airports in October as it struggles to improve its financial structure and overhaul its image following a series of scandals, Seoul’s Aju Business Daily has reported.

Under the leadership of a new chairman, Cho Won-tae, the flag carrier will halt its declining cargo business at terminals at Gwangju, Cheong Ju, and Daegu on October 1.

Analysts told the newspaper that falling cargo sales, as well as rising fuel costs, were behind a second-quarter operating loss at Korean Air, with Bang Min-jin, a researcher at Eugene Investment & Securities, commenting: “The biggest reason for the operating loss was slower-than-expected cargo sales, which were down 13.6% from a year ago.”

Other measures at the carrier include the removal, starting this month, of first-class seating on 27 short-haul and medium-haul routes, equivalent to 70% of its total international routes.

In a statement issued during the 2019 Paris Air Show in June, Korean Air announced plans to add thirty B787 Family aircraft as part of a fleet renewal drive, tentatively committing to ten new B787-10s and ten B787-9s from Boeing and leasing ten B787-10s from Air Lease Corporation.