Back To Top

Korean Air, Asiana bagged W2b from airline miles deal with commercial banks

South Korea’s two major carriers Korean Air and Asiana Airlines have received a combined 2.1 billion won ($1.79 million) from selling airline miles to commercial lenders in the past four years, Financial Supervisory Service data showed Wednesday.

The data comes amid criticisms of local airlines bagging profits from mileage deals with financial institutions, despite some clients’ complaints of strict conditions and terms surrounding the use of the miles. Calls for transparency in the deals between the airlines and institutions have been growing. 

A Korean Air aircraft takes off. (Yonhap)
A Korean Air aircraft takes off. (Yonhap)

According to data acquired and released by a ruling Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker, Korean Air and Asiana earned 1.5 billion won and 647 million won, respectively, from selling mileage to local banks from January 2016 to August this year.

Of commercial banks, KB Kookmin and Shinhan purchased mileage from both Korean Air and Asiana in the cited period. Korean Air also inked separate deals with Citibank Korea, while Standard Chartered Bank Korea received miles from Asiana.

Separate data released earlier this month showed that the two carriers earned nearly 2 trillion won from their mileage business with credit card issuers in the same period.

The Free Trade Commission is currently reviewing ambiguities surrounding the two major carrier’s terms and conditions surrounding the mileage services.

By Jung Min-kyung (
Korea Herald daum