South Korean flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. had the highest profit increase among airlines around the world, beating its leading competitors. The company showed not only quantitative but also qualitative growth as well as the improved competitiveness and influence.
Korean Air has been recently selected as the world’s best performing airline by Air Transport World’s (ATW’s) annual World Airline Report for this year.
Korean Air recorded a net loss of US$550 million (618.5 billion won) in 2016 but it posted a net profit of US$850 million (955.8 billion) last year, showing a dramatic growth.
The airline also believes that such qualitative growth will stick out further with a transpacific network joint venture set up in May with Delta Air Lines Inc.
In addition, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced in June that Korean Air will host the 75th IATA Annual General Meeting next year. When the IATA Annual General Meeting is held in Seoul next year, it will be the first general meeting that takes place in South Korea. The heads of 280 airlines from 120 countries across the globe will gather in the nation. The IATA Annual General Meeting is the largest meeting that is participated in by 1,000 officials in the global airline industry. It is so-called “United Nations Meeting in the airline industry.”
The CEO of airline that hosts the IATA Annual General Meeting serves as chairman of the meeting. Accordingly, Korean Air Chairman Cho Yang-ho will chair the next meeting to be held in South Korea next year.
An official from Korean Air said, “The fact that Korean Air was selected as the host of the next IATA Annual General Meeting shows how far the company has expanded its role in the IATA and how much the South Korean airline industry has improved its status in the global market.”