Korean Air has recorded a net loss of KRW98.2 billion (US$87 million) for financial 2011, compared with a net profit of KRW623.9 billion a year earlier.
Losses were attributed to higher fuel costs, lower cargo demand and a weaker local currency.
However, sales at the Korean flag-carrier were up 5.4 per cent to KRW12.27 trillion, while operating profit fell 62.8 per cent to KRW459.8 billion.
Also today, Korean Air confirmed it will commence a new three times weekly service from London Gatwick to Seoul on April 29th.
The departure will be in addition to the daily service already on offer from London Heathrow Airport.
This new service will mean that Korean Air will now operate routes to/from Seoul throughout 16 cities in 11 European countries and will link London and Seoul ten times a week through both Heathrow and Gatwick gateways.
As well as boosting the service to Korea, the Gatwick flight timings will also allow the UK traveller to connect onwards to Chinese, Japanese and South East Asian destinations.
There are also many dual destinations opportunities for the leisure traveller, including Bali, Australia and New Zealand.
Jeong Soo Park, general manager for Korean Air in London, said: “We are pleased to announce our UK route frequency increase with the introduction of London’s Gatwick Airport.
“In addition to increasing the choice for our business travellers, we also look forward to welcoming leisure passengers looking to travel to Asia and beyond.”
Korean Air’s Boeing 777s will be used on the Gatwick route, offering a total of 261 seats including eight First Class fully flat Kosmo Sleeper seats, 28 Prestige Plus (Business) seats and 225 Economy seats.
Gatwick Airport’s chief commercial officer, Guy Stephenson, added: “South Korea remains one of Asia’s fastest growing economies and an important growth market for the UK.
“It is critical therefore that the UK has strong connections to this country and we are pleased that the airline has chosen to grow its London-Seoul route from Gatwick.”
Korean Air – considered the World’s Most Innovative Airline by the World Travel Awards - also announced earlier passenger sales from London for 2011, when compared to 2010, were up three per cent overall, with revenue up nine per cent.
Prestige (Business) Class was the best performer in London, where sales were up ten per cent and revenue up 24 per cent.
Both First and Economy sales from London were also up.