The sales of Kumho Asiana Business Group’s three airlines Asiana Airlines, Air Busan and Air Seoul are expected to continue to increase as a ratio of the group’s overall earnings in the wake of the disintegration of Kumho Tire, Group Chairman Park Sam-koo demanded in his New Year’s message. Presidents of the airlines responded by coming out with their New Year’s profit-making targets in unison.
Figures released by the Korea Fair Trade Commission showed that Kumho Asiana Group posted 10.761 trillion won in sales in 2016. The three airline subsidiaries chalked up about 5.8 trillion won in sales, accounting for 54 percent of the total. Asiana Airlines and Air Busan took up a 52 percent share in the group’s total sales in 2015 before Air Seoul was launched.
The three airliners’ portion of the group’s annual sales is expected to rise this year as Kumho Tire was separated from the business group. Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park set this year’s group sales target at 9.8 trillion won. The airliners’ portion of the group’s total sales will likely rise to about 60 percent in consideration of their sales in 2016.
In his New Year’s message, Chairman Park said he expects Asiana Airlines to play a pivotal role in the group, especially in leading the group’s “leap forward.”
Asiana Airlines, which announced a plan to restore management in 2015, has been retrenching by merging and integrating overseas branches and reducing on-board services. The national flag carrier, which is to inaugurate such long-haul routes as Barcelona and Venice this year, has a two-track management strategy of retrenching and making profits.
In his New Year’s message delivered on Jan. 2, Asiana Airlines President Kim Soo-cheon set the airliner’s 2018 management tenant as “A Beautiful Ascent in 2018.”
“This is a significant year for our company, marking the 30th anniversary of its founding,” he said.
“A Beautiful Ascent in 2018” has been selected as this year’s management tenet to herald a “leap forward” by inheriting and evolving the proud history of Asiana Airlines in which senior and junior executives and staff ha overcoming crises with a passion and enthusiasm, he said.
President Kim also revealed mid- and long-term strategies to turn a profit and put management on the right track.
Asiana Airlines, he said, plans to dramatically ramp up the competitiveness of long-haul flights so the airline can grow as a long-haul flight network.
“Two long-haul flight routes are to be launched in three years since 2015, when a flight to Rome makes its debut,” Kim said. He went on to say that Asiana Airlines will make all of its flights to the United States daily and expand flights to China by forging a strategic alliance with major airlines in America, including United and Southwest.
Asiana Airlines plans to accelerate a “generational aircraft upgrade” by adding two more A350s this year and securing 32 long-haul aircraft by 2022, which will operate 19 long-haul routes. The move, which will raise the portion of long-haul aircraft to 60 percent, is expected to transform Asiana Airlines into a long-haul airliner.
The airliner plans to maintain its competitiveness through proper role sharing with short-haul carriers Air Seoul and Air Busan, while striving to improve profitability by retaining its supply to current levels and replacing aircraft with efficiency-high, next-generation aircraft A321 NEOs.