South Korea's low-cost carriers enjoyed improved earnings over the first half of 2017, data showed Sunday, as the firms successfully diversified routes amid the diplomatic row with China.
The country's six LCCs saw their sales reach 1.6 trillion won ($1.39 billion) in the January-June period, up 39 percent from a year earlier, industry data showed. The combined operating profit also doubled to reach 117.3 billion won.
While the latest diplomatic tension with Beijing dealt a harsh blow to local flight operators, industry watchers said the improved earnings came as the LCCs diversified routes to Southeast Asia and Japan.
Jeju Air Co. posted an operating profit of 43.5 billion won in the first half, up 168.5 percent from a year earlier. The company posted profits for the 12th consecutive quarter.
T'way Air Co. said its operating profit came to 20.6 billion won, jumping out of a cash crunch.
Jin Air Co. posted an operating profit of 46.6 billion won, up 133 percent on-year.
Air Seoul Inc., which kicked off in October, suffered an operating loss of 13.8 billion won.
Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc. posted a combined operating profit of 433.4 billion won, down 20.8 percent on-year.
South Korea's land ministry said it expects the LCCs to continue efforts in tapping new routes and adopting new planes to maintain its expansion. (Yonhap)