Asiana Airlines, South Korea’s second-biggest airline by sales, said Tuesday (16 February) its net losses narrowed in 2020 from a year earlier on cost cuts and other self-help measures. The airline’s net losses narrowed to 404.51 billion won (US$367 million) last year from 817.89 billion won the previous year as the company had employees take unpaid leave, streamlined overseas operations and focused on winning cargo deals, the company said in a statement. Operating losses also narrowed to 253.21 billion won from 443.71 billion won over the cited period. Sales fell 44 percent on-year to 3.89 trillion won from 6.97 trillion won, it said.
To ride out the COVID-19 crisis, Asiana converted two passenger jets into cargo planes last year and this year it plans to convert two additional passenger jets into cargo ones. Asiana also suspended most of its flights on international routes since early last year. Its bigger rival Korean Air Lines plans to sell 3.3 trillion won worth of new shares next month to acquire Asiana for 1.5 trillion won and spend 1.8 trillion won for the national flag carrier’s debt payment.