[THE INVESTOR] Asiana Airlines, South Korea’s second-biggest full-service carrier by sales, on Feb. 6 celebrated the 30th anniversary of its foundation and vowed to restore financial stability.
“We will successfully complete efforts to normalize management this year, which marks the 30th anniversary of establishment, on turnaround seen since 2016,” said Asiana Airlines CEO Kim Soo-cheon during a press conference at Westin Chosun Hotel in central Seoul.
“Asiana Airlines takes great pride that we have demolished the 27-year-long monopoly here, strengthening consumer sovereignty.”
The company started out with 823 employees and two airlines in 1988. It has grown into the country’s second-biggest airline company after Korean Air.
This year it is projected to post 25.6 billion won (US$23.6 million) in operating profit with 10,237 workers, as well as 70 cargo and 12 passenger planes.
Due to weakening financial soundness, however, rating agency Korea Investors Service lowered Asiana Airlines’ credit rating to BBB- from BBB in November last year.
In response to increasing demand for low-cost carriers, Asiana Airlines will pursue a new business strategy centered on long-range flights, the company said.
As part of its plans to operate 19 long-distance routes with 32 aircrafts by 2022, Airbus A380 and A350 passenger planes will be introduced in April, the company said.
Regarding growing public outrage over posts made on the anonymous online community Blind that Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo had sexually harassed female flights attendants, Kim said, “We are looking into the case.”
Asiana will launch routes to Venetia, Italy, and Barcelona, Spain, in May and August respectively, the company said, noting that the route to Venetia is the only direct flight from Asia.
By Kim Bo-gyung/The Korea Herald (email@example.com)