Incheon Airport Debt Ratio Approaches 70% Against Falling Travel Demand

Air operations and travelers have plunged this year at Incheon Airport. (Yonhap)

Incheon Airport forecast on Thursday that its debt-to-equity ratio will climb to nearly 70% this year due to a drop in airline operations and travelers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airport operator told a press conference that flight operations are expected to have fallen 19% from last year and travelers by 70% in one year.

The slowdown hurt revenue, with airport sales reaching 490.5 billion won ($ 416 million), a 55 percent decline from a year ago.

The airport sought to respond to fluctuating travel demand by continuing its fourth phase of construction to strengthen its competitiveness.

This contributed to the increase in the debt ratio to 68.4% from 46.5% a year ago.

Air cargo shipments helped bolster operations, with Incheon Airport forecasting its highest-ever cargo record of around 3.2 million metric tonnes for this year, a 14% increase from to 2.8 million tonnes of freight last year.

The airport predicted that it would take more than three years for demand for flights to return to pre-pandemic levels, despite the launch of travel bubbles and an increase in the vaccinated population, due to a resurgence in transmission of COVID -19 and the spread of variants.

By Hong Yoo ([email protected])


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John A. Bogar