South Korea’s Asiana Airlines is bringing forward maintenance schedules, while it hunkers down during the Covid-19 crisis.

As a result of aircraft groundings, the carrier was able to advance planned maintenance by about 17% in preparation for the return of air travel, it says in a discussion of its first-quarter performance.

Asiana is also extending executive pay cuts indefinitely while all employees have been asked to take mandatory unpaid leave as part of what it describes as “self-help measures”.

It says it will focus on chartered flights for repatriation while actively pursuing the corporate travel segment, having observed major countries easing travel restrictions to allow resumption of economic activities.

Within its scheduled operations, it plans to resume service on 13 international routes starting June, to the USA, China and Southeast Asia. The airline will operate at 17% of planned capacity, with 110 weekly operations.

It has also increased air freight operations to make up for lost belly-cargo capacity. Asiana currently operates to China, Southeast Asia, the USA and Europe and says it is continuously expanding in this area.

In the January-March period, Asiana’s revenue declined by 22% to W1.13 trillion ($917 million) due to the sharp fall in demand for air travel globally.

The airline reported a W208 billion operating loss, a widening of a W11.8 billion reverse in the first quarter of 2019. The net loss came in at W549 billion, up from W84.3 billion in the year-ago period.

It says: “Asiana Airlines plans to continue its intensive self-help plan to survive as Covid-19 [is now a] global pandemic and passenger demand is expected to contract for some time.”