Korean Air Reports Fourth Quarter Net Loss Amid Rising Operating Costs

SEOUL - Korean Air Co., the national flag carrier of South Korea, reported a transition to a net loss in the fourth quarter of 2023, attributing the downturn to increased operating expenses.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Korean Air recorded a net loss of 234.59 billion won (US$176 million) for the quarter ending December 31, a significant reversal from the net profit of 353.98 billion won reported in the corresponding period the previous year. Operating profit for the October-December quarter fell by 65 percent to 183.61 billion won, down from 520.08 billion won a year earlier, despite a 10 percent increase in sales to 3.98 trillion won. The company cited higher staff wages, including incentives tied to annual and safety performance targets, as the primary reason for the profit decline. Korean Air expressed optimism for a full recovery in passenger demand in the early part of the year but noted uncertainty in air cargo demand for traditional items such as semiconductors and displays due to a global economic slowdown. The airline pledged to adapt to the robust e-commerce demand and address supply chain uncertainties exacerbated by global geopolitical risks. For the entirety of 2023, Korean Air' s net income and operating profit decreased by 49 percent and 45 percent, respectively, while sales saw an 8.7 percent increase.

scroll to top