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Asiana Airlines posts all-time record profit

Asiana Airlines, the country’s No. 2 air carrier, reported record high yearly sales of over 5 trillion won ($4.51 billion) in 2010, buoyed by the rising demand for flights, its officials said Thursday.

The company said that it reached 5.07 trillion won in sales, an increase of over 30 percent from 2009, and 635.7 billion won in operating profit last year. Both figures are the highest the company has recorded since its establishment back in 1988.

For the fourth quarter, total sales rose up to 17.6 percent to reach 1.28 trillion won and operating profit went up 147.2 percent to record 103.7 billion won, its officials said.

“Involving passengers, there was a recovery in demand for short-distance flights, such as to China and Japan, and more Chinese visited the country with the ease of visa regulations,” said company officials.

“The demand for long duration routes to the Americas also surged, driving up the figure of passengers compared to the previous year that also triggered the rise in sales.”

In the meantime, Asiana set its target at 5.5 trillion won in sales and 610 billion won in operating profits for this year, according to Asiana officials.

It is also planning to newly introduce three aircraft ― two A321s and an A330 ― in 2011, they added.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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