Domestic airlines seem to be breaking out of the recession.
The strengthening won against the U.S. dollar has lowered fuel expenses and an increased number of holidays in May meant more people were traveling abroad. Coming months seem bright with peak vacation season in July and August and due to Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving, in early September, which comes earlier this year.
Based on such an optimistic forecast, market researchers believe Korean Air saw its revenues rise 1.6 percent in the second quarter on-year to W2.79 trillion (US$1=W1,019).
According to market researcher FnGuide, Asiana Airlines is estimated to have its revenue rise 4.6 percent to W1.44 trillion. The airline had posted two straight quarters of losses but is expected to have swung into the black.
Increased passenger load was the main factor that drove earnings higher during the second quarter. Some 10.56 million passengers used Incheon International Airport from April to June of this year, up 11.5 percent on-year. Flights to China saw the largest growth of 25.3 percent, seeing almost 900,000 passengers from April to June.
Budget carriers are also looking to cash in by expanding their routes as passenger numbers rise. Jeju Air plans to purchase four aircraft this year, and Jin Air, a subsidiary of Korean Air, recently announced it would buy a bigger passenger jet and start flights connecting Korea and Hawaii. Asiana plans to establish another low-cost carrier for short and long-haul flights.