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Korean Air Reports Record Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Operating Profits

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Korean Air has reported a fourth quarter operating profit of KRW 704.4 billion (US $594.2 M) on revenue of KRW 2.83 trillion (US $2.4 B). For the full year 2021, the carrier reported a profit of KRW 1.46 trillion (US $1.24 B) on revenue of KRW 8.75 trillion (US $7.38 B).


Korean Air Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - Courtesy Korean Air

On Thursday (January 27, 2022), Korean Air reported their fourth quarter and full year 2021 financial results for the period ending December 31, 2021. The carrier reported a fourth quarter operating profit of KRW 704.4 billion (US $594.2 million) on revenue of KRW 2.83 trillion (US $2.38 billion). For the full year 2021, Korean Air reported an operating profit of KRW 1.46 trillion (US $1.24 billion) on revenue of KRW 8.75 trillion (US $7.38 billion). Both fourth quarter and annual operating profits are all-time records in the company’s 53-year history. Korean Air’s previous record quarterly operating profit was KRW 447.6 billion in Q3 2016, while the previous annual record operating profit was KRW 1.16 trillion for FY 2010.


During the fourth quarter, Korean Air’s cargo business also achieved a record milestone, achieving revenue of KRW 2.18 trillion (US $ 1.8 billion*). The company’s previous cargo revenue record of KRW 1.65 trillion was reported for the third quarter of 2021. Although the spread of the COVID-19 variants delayed Korean Air’s passenger business recovery, the business achieved a year-over-year revenue increase of 14 percent to KRW 379.5 billion (US $313.8 million*). The rise in passenger traffic was bolstered by the extension of quarantine-free travel from Korea to destinations such as Guam, Singapore and Hawaii.


Korean Air's Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Financial Results - Courtesy Korean Air

With the spread of the Omicron variant potentially delaying the normalization of global supply chain woes, Korean Air Cargo will continue to strengthen their operational capabilities to deliver stable and dependable capacity, including the operation of charter flights and cargo-only passenger flights. Korean Air expects that passenger demand recovery will depend on the COVID-19 variant situation and border regulations, and will continue to operate routes with flexibility, for an agile response to market trends.



Source: Korean Air



*Based on the exchange rate between the South Korean won (KRW) and USD at the time of writing on January 28, 2022. Korean Air provided exchange rate data is based on the KRW/USD exchange rate of 1185.5:1.

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