Korean Air sees an increase in international passenger traffic in September

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25-Aug-2009 Korean Air said today it expects an increase in international passenger traffic in September.

The airline said the average number of reserved seats on international routes in September is up 21% from the same period last year whereas overall supply of seats has increased 9%. Japan has seen the biggest increase in demand for seats at 59%, followed by Americas at 12%, Europe 10%, Southeast Asia 7% and Oceania 6%. Demand for seats to China in the month of September is flat from last year. The numbers of both business and leisure travelers have been increasing since July as the world economy began to stabilize. Overall international passenger traffic rose 5% and 9% in July and August, respectively, from that of last year.

An easing in concerns surrounding the H1N1 influenza virus also helped rekindle demand for air travel. People who put off traveling during the summer holiday period seem to have returned to the market with travels plans for September, boosting demand further. On routes to and from Japan, in particular, a string of public holidays in the country from September 19 to 23 has put shine on Japanese outbound travel. “For Korea, increased demand in outbound and inbound travel and a growing number of transit passengers are expected to drive steady growth in overall demand for international air travel in the latter half of this year,” commented Korean Air President and COO Jong-Hee Lee. Korean Air has recently announced that it swung to a net profit in the 2nd quarter of 2009 on lower fuel prices and a stronger won against the dollar. It posted net profit of 78.5 billion won ($63 million) for the three month period.