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Korean Air Operates 10,000 cargo-only Passenger Flights

Our Bureau - : Aug 5, 2021 - : 9:57 am

Korean Air, which has been focusing on its cargo business ever since the pandemic caused a decline in air travel demand, reached a major milestone on Aug. 1, operating 10,000 cargo-only passenger flights.

In March last year, the airline flew its first passenger flight carrying only cargo on the Incheon-Ho Chi Minh route. Since then, the carrier added such flights to 65 routes to North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, China and Japan.

The airline has so far transporting 400,000 tons of cargo around the world, at the average rate of about 40 tons of cargo per round trip. After 38 cargo-only passenger flights in March last year, the carrier scaled up the operation in phases and now has 800 such flights a month. This has helped the airline deliver an operating profit for fourth consecutive quarters, from the second quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021.

“We expect cargo-only passenger flights to play a more vital role in the second half of the year, when the volume of import and export cargo typically increases,” said Korean Air. “As a Korean flag carrier, Korean Air will continue its efforts to create a stable logistics environment for imports and exports by actively securing cargo capacity.”

According to the airline, cargo volume transported using passenger aircraft dropped to 16,000 tons per month in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak last year. The figure has rebounded to more than 40,000 tons per month this year, close to pre-pandemic levels.


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