Korean Air achieved W3.4 trillion in revenues and an operating profit of W313.2 billion (US$1=W1,103) in the third quarter of 2012, the carrier said Thursday. Revenues were up 2.6 percent over the same period in 2011, and operating profit increased 30.5 percent.
It was the second time that Korean Air has exceeded the W300 billion mark in quarterly operating profit since 2010.
Net profit stood at W340 billion, swinging back into the black after three quarters.
Analysts attribute the recession-beating results to an aggressive push to upgrade the carrier's fleet, which led to record-high transport volume. Korean Air has been operating the Airbus A380 superjumbo jets on long-haul routes to the U.S. and Europe since last year.
Increased first and business class custom contributed to improved profitability.
"We expect sales from premium-class seats to total W1.62 trillion, up 15 percent from last year," a Korean Air spokesman said. "We plan to operate 55 new aircraft by 2018, including five A380 and 10 B787 planes."