Tentative calculations issued by low-cost airline Jeju Air indicate that it reaped record sales of W109 billion (US$1=W1,059) and an operating profit of W1.2 billion in the first six months, it revealed on Thursday.
This marks a 64.2 percent increase in sales on-year. It also shows that the budget carrier has recovered from last year’s W9.2-billion deficit to turn a profit. One of the spurs seems to have been a boost in outbound travel, with sales reaching W56.4 billion to surpass the W52.6 billion recorded on domestic flights over the period for the first time.
"Despite the unfavorable factors we have had to deal with, such as high oil prices and a decrease in demand due to the massive earthquake in Japan, we have managed to earn previously unseen sales by expanding our international routes and increasing the number of domestic flights," said Yang Sung-Jin, the carrier's executive director.
Jeju Air has opened a slew of new pan-Asian routes over the last 12 months to expand its international flights to 11. It launched services from Incheon to Hong Kong and Manila, and from Busan to Cebu, in the Philippines, in the latter half of last year.
In the first half of 2011, it opened between Busan and Bangkok, Busan and Hong Kong, and Jeju and Osaka.
Meanwhile, the airline saw the number of its domestic passengers rise 25 percent from January to June. In terms of the popular Gimpo-Jeju route, it claimed a 14.1-percent share of the market to rank third behind Korean Air and Asiana Airlines.