Asiana to adjust network in search of profits

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Asiana Airlines will adjust its network and products to help turn around recent losses.

The South Korean airline said in an investors' presentation that it plans to use larger aircraft on its Seoul Gimpo-Tokyo Haneda services and increase Seoul Incheon-Istanbul frequencies from three to five times weekly, without specifying a timeline.

The airline adds that it will also adjust its passenger routes by downsizing the aircraft used on trunk routes to Japan, reducing flights on non-profitable mid-haul routes and “supply with flexibility on long-haul flights”.

In July, it launched two and seven times weekly services to Denpasar and Jakarta respectively, and raised the Kota Kinabalu frequency to daily.

Asiana will add an Airbus A321 to its fleet in September and remodel eight of its two-class A320s into an all-economy class configuration. The reconfiguration will remove eight business class seats and add 21 seats in economy class, raising the total number of seats to 156.

Meanwhile, Asiana plans to reduce cargo services to Osaka and Nagoya, and change the aircraft type used on these two routes. It will also merge cargo services to Hanoi, Singapore and Penang, while reducing twice weekly flights to Europe during the lull season.

In the first half of 2013, yield on the airline's international passenger services declined by 5% to 9.1 US cents while cargo yields declined by 4.4% to 28.8 US cents compared with the same period a year earlier.

Asiana widened its second quarter 2013 net loss to won (W) 80.1 billion ($71.9 million), from a net loss of W37.4 billion a year earlier. Revenue for the same period declined by 4.1% to W1.37 trillion.