ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter


Company Background

Korean Air Lines, the largest airline in South Korea, is part of the Hanjin group, a conglomerate specializing in transportation. It is a key air carrier in Asia, with 115 routes worldwide as of the end of 2014. The airline was founded as a state-owned company in 1962 under the name Korean Air Lines and was privatized in 1969. It operates a wide range of services from air cargo to domestic and international passenger flights. Korean Air also operates an aerospace business that develops military and unmanned aircraft.

Its international passenger services are the company's largest source of profit, generating more than half the company's revenue. Air cargo services follow, accounting for more than 20% of revenue.

As of the end of March, it owned 149 aircraft, 122 for passengers and 27 for cargo. Its fleet ranges in size from Airbus A380 superjumbo to the midsize Boeing 737.

The South Korean airline plans to spend a total of $12.23 billion, based on list prices, to buy more than 100 new-model aircraft, including the Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A321neo.

Its discount affiliate, Jin Air, offers short-haul flights to Japan and China, as well as medium-length flights to Southeast Asia. Korean Air, by contrast, is looking to strengthen its service on major routes and long-haul overseas service.

Korean Air is a member of the SkyTeam international airline alliance.

Business Summary

Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. engages in operating scheduled air transportation services. It operates through the following business divisions: Air Transportation, Air Space, and Others. It provides air transportation services such as passenger, cargo, building lease, maintenance, and training services. In addition, It also supplies aerospace, catering, in-flight sales, and Limousines. The company was founded on June 19, 1962 and is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.

Financial Highlights

Dec 2021 KRWUSD
Gross Profit2,029.64B1,772.37M
Operating income1,409.50B1,230.83M
Income before tax843,142.90M736.26M
Net income560,947.10M489.84M
Diluted EPS1,656.221.44
Dividends Per Share00
Total Assets26,671.90B22,436.93M
Total liabilities20,106.18B16,913.71M
Total equity6,453.93B5,429.17M
Operating cash flow3,085.05B2,693.99M
Currency in KRWCurrency in USD

Historical Data

 Dec 2017Dec 2018Dec 2019Dec 2020Dec 2021
Revenue 12,092.21B 13,011.64B 12,384.26B 7,610.53B 9,016.82B
Gross Profit 2,059.29B 2,033.65B 1,365.03B 675,036.73M 2,029.64B
Operating income 939,999.78M 671,650.20M 175,624.82M 106,942.38M 1,409.50B
Income before tax 1,121.69B -178,264.61M -815,020.32M -934,840.24M 843,142.90M
Net income 791,510.24M -168,480.81M -749,585.65M -862,627.58M 560,947.10M
EBITDA 2,633.01B 2,422.28B 2,249.29B 2,069.22B 3,104.86B
Diluted EPS 5,862.95 -1,191.47 -4,516.12 -1,671.76 1,656.22
Dividends Per Share 169.64 169.64 0 0 0
Total Assets 24,648.67B 25,842.50B 27,014.11B 25,190.06B 26,671.90B
Total liabilities 20,897.57B 23,381.01B 25,312.62B 22,556.49B 20,106.18B
Total equity 3,629.43B 2,338.42B 1,576.89B 2,528.34B 6,453.93B
Operating cash flow 2,315.88B 2,205.08B 1,610.78B 776,098.97M 3,085.05B
 Dec 2017Dec 2018Dec 2019Dec 2020Dec 2021
Revenue 10,696.24M 11,823.20M 10,619.47M 6,450.21M 7,873.86M
Gross Profit 1,821.56M 1,847.90M 1,170.51M 572.11M 1,772.37M
Operating income 831.48M 610.30M 150.59M 90.63M 1,230.83M
Income before tax 992.20M -161.98M -698.87M -792.31M 736.26M
Net income 700.13M -153.09M -642.76M -731.10M 489.84M
EBITDA 2,329.05M 2,201.04M 1,928.76M 1,753.75M 2,711.29M
Diluted EPS 5.18 -1.08 -3.87 -1.41 1.44
Dividends Per Share 0.15 0.15 0 0 0
Total Assets 23,024.30M 23,160.51M 23,359.52M 23,188.86M 22,436.93M
Total liabilities 19,520.40M 20,954.48M 21,888.21M 20,764.51M 16,913.71M
Total equity 3,390.25M 2,095.73M 1,363.56M 2,327.48M 5,429.17M
Operating cash flow 2,048.53M 2,003.67M 1,381.24M 657.77M 2,693.99M

Valuation Measures

Dec 2021
Operating margin15.63%
Profit margin6.22%

Key executives

  • Co-CEO, Director & Head-Strategy Management: Gi-Hong Woo
  • President, Co-Chief Executive Officer & Director: Won-Tae Cho
  • Senior Managing Director & Head-Finance: Eun-Yong Ha
  • Director & Vice President-Technology: Soo-Geun Lee
  • Senior Managing Director & Head-Aerospace: In-Hwa Kim


  • HANJIN KAL Corp. (26.1%)
  • Korean Air Lines Co. Ltd. Employee Stock Ownership Associate (8.4%)
  • National Pension Service of Korea (6.9%)
  • The Korea Development Bank (Investment Management) (3.3%)
  • The Vanguard Group, Inc. (1.2%)
  • BlackRock Fund Advisors (1.0%)
  • Jungseok-Inha School's Foundation (0.7%)
  • Norges Bank Investment Management (0.7%)
  • Samsung Asset Management Co., Ltd. (0.5%)
  • Dimensional Fund Advisors LP (0.4%)

Contact Details

Related Companies

  • TAS Cyber Sky Co., Ltd.
  • Hanjin Central Asia LLC
  • KE Export Leasing 2013-D LLC
  • Taeil Catering Co., Ltd.
  • WLD Co., Ltd.
  • KAL ABS 23 Cayman Ltd.
  • KAL ABS 17 Cayman Ltd.
  • HomeoTherapy Co., Ltd.
  • Korean Air Lines Co. Ltd. Employee Stock Ownership Associate
  • Global Logistics System Korea Co., Ltd.
  • Export Leasing 2009 LLC
  • KAL ABS 15 Cayman Ltd.
  • Air Korea Co., Ltd.
  • Korean Air Lines /Limousine Ops/
  • KE Export Leasing 2000 Ltd.
  • KE Export Leasing (2011-II) LLC
  • KE Export Leasing (2013-B) LLC
  • KAL Japan ABS 10 Cayman Ltd.
  • KE Export Leasing (2013-A) LLC
  • Incheon Aviation Tech Co., Ltd.
  • Hanjin Travel Service Co. /Investment Operation/
  • CyberSky Co., Ltd.
  • Korean Air Lines Co. Ltd. (California)
  • KAL Japan ABS 6 Cayman Ltd.
  • JIN AIR Co., Ltd.
  • Inha Corp.
  • Korean Air Lease & Finance CoLimited
  • Kal Hotel Network Co. Ltd.
  • Air Total Service Co., Ltd.
  • Incheon International Airport Fuel Facilities Co., Ltd.


  • Asiana Airlines Inc.
  • China Airlines Ltd.
  • Firstec Co., Ltd
  • El Al Israel Airlines Ltd
  • PAL Holdings, Inc.
  • AeroSpace Technology of Korea, Inc.
  • Air Busan Co., Ltd.
  • JIN AIR Co., Ltd.
  • AK Holdings, Inc.
  • Shoper Spolka Akcyjna
Last Updated on 28 Sep, 2022

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more