On February 16, 2021, Seoul-based air carrier Asiana Airlines announced that it narrowed its 2020 operating and net losses due to cargo business enhancement. 

The airline narrowed its net loss from 762,9 billion won ($689 million) in 2019 to 266,4 billion won ($241 million) in 2020, according to its financial report. Operating losses also narrowed to 70,3 billion won ($64 million) from 486,7 billion won ($440 million) over the cited period.  As for the airline’s overall sales in 2020, they decreased by 39.9%.

In 2020, Asiana suspended most of its international operations due to sluggish passenger demand. However, the shift to cargo business enhancement tipped the balance and made it possible for Asiana to narrow its losses. In 2020, Asiana Airlines cargo sales soared up by 64% compared to 2019.

The airline converted two Airbus A350-900 passenger aircraft to freighters and used them for 849 cargo operations. For cargo business expansion, Asiana plans to convert two additional A350-900 passenger aircraft into cargo aircraft in 2021. 

In addition, the airline switched its focus on cargo operations from China and Southeast Asia to Europe and North America by transporting masks and personal protective equipment mostly produced in Asia. 

“The first quarter of the year was slowed down due to the impact of Corona 19, but thanks to the employees who actively participated in self-reliance efforts to overcome the crisis, we were able to achieve a surplus for the third consecutive quarter,” an official of Asiana Airlines said.  

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Korean Air ended 2020 with $213 million operating profit.