Korean Air produced a consolidated net profit of KRW559 billion ($500.3 million) for the first quarter of 2017, reversing a loss of KRW175 billion in the year-ago period.

The Seoul-based carrier’s consolidated first-quarter revenue totaled KRW2.9 trillion, down KRW1 million from the airline’s 1Q2016 sales. Operating expenses came to KRW2.7 billion, up 5.1% year-over-year (YOY) as fuel and labor expenses rose by 24% and 17% YOY, respectively. Korean’s operating profit for the quarter was KRW192 billion, down 40.6% from KRW323 billion in 1Q 2016.

Korean Air’s first-quarter passenger traffic was down slightly (0.2%) to 18.6 billion RPKS; Capacity was down 4.2% to 23.2 billion ASKs. Overall load factor for the quarter was 80.1%, up 3.2 points YOY. The airline’s cargo traffic increased 7.9% to 2 billion FTKs.

As of March 31, Korean Air’s fleet totaled 129 passenger aircraft and 31 cargo aircraft. In 2017, the airline is expecting to take delivery of three additional Boeing 747-8Is, four 787-9s, nine 777Fs and seven Bombardier CS300s.

Mark Nensel mark.nensel@penton.com