Monday, May 20, 2024
Korean Air’s green flight path

Korean Air’s green flight path

The post-pandemic environment has led to an explosive increase in travel demand. To this end, airlines have expanded their international capacity by resuming and adding passenger services to meet this demand.

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“In the case of our Southeast Asia network where we continue to add substantial passenger supply, we are closely monitoring and managing not only freighter capacity but also our passenger aircraft capacity to meet overall cargo demand,” Eum Jae Dong, Korean Air’s Senior Vice President, Head of Cargo, said.

“By jointly analysing passenger and cargo capacity, we can operate our fleet flexibly through internal consultation to upsize/downsize the aircraft size on routes, even if passenger demand remains relatively low on some destinations.”

Online boom

Demand for e-commerce originating from Asia is growing rapidly. The global e-commerce market is expected to continue to grow due to changes in consumer trends and advancements in big-tech platforms (i.e. Apple, Amazon, Naver, Baidu, Alibaba).

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“We are monitoring trends in global e-commerce growth markets such as China and Southeast Asia and will continue to allocate our resources to meet demand flexibly,” Eum highlighted.

Global developments

The aviation industry has been closely monitoring geopolitical developments so that it can respond to demand fluctuations that may result from disruptions in the supply chain and spark a change in the way goods are moved around the globe.

“Should the disruptions in the ocean freight supply chain persist with the Red Sea conflict, we may see a pivot in demand for air cargo,” Eum outlined. “We closely monitor the situation and plan to secure supply as needed actively.”

Cutting carbon emissions

Korean Air operates and continues to introduce highly efficient freighters to reduce its environmental footprint in the long run. Of the 23 freighters currently operating, 19 are highly efficient freighters, such as the Boeing 777F and B747-8F, designed for improved environmental performance.

The airline is also exploring and executing innovative procedures, such as the complete transition to e-AWB, using lightweight containers/recycled protective sheets, and expanding electric ground handling equipment.

“The commitment to reduce environmental footprint is multi-faceted, and Korean Air will continue to seek and implement technologies and procedures to reduce air cargo’s environmental impact,” Eum explained.

With the industry and the airline in the exploratory stage of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), Korean Air hopes to see the industry infrastructure develop substantially to the point where the procurement procedure may become more streamlined and the costs significantly decrease.

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“Korean Air’s Cargo SAF programme aims to provide its partners and forwarders the opportunity to participate in the purchasing of SAF to reduce greenhouse gas emission impact from air cargo operations,” Eum added.

“The programme is designed to meet the rising demand of the airline’s global air cargo customers to participate in carbon emissions reduction activities and to promote meaningful solidarity and sustainable change in the global aviation industry. For us to pave the path forward in industry decarbonisation, Korean Air will continue to expand its partnerships with various affiliates.”

Picture of James Graham

James Graham

James Graham is an award-winning transport media journalist with a long background in the commercial freight sector, including commercial aviation and the aviation supply chain. He was the initial Air Cargo Week journalist and retuned later for a stint as editor. He continues his association as editor of the monthly supplements. He has reported for the newspaper from global locations as well as the UK.


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