Korean Air returns to profit, passengers increase

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea's flagship carrier Korean Air said Thursday it returned to profit after two straight quarters of losses as increased international passengers and a favorable exchange rate offset lower cargo shipments.

Korean Air Lines Co. reported net profit of 340 billion won ($308 million) for the July-September third quarter compared with a net loss of 536 billion a year earlier.

The airline said its operating profit totaled 313 billion won, a 31 percent increase over a year earlier, on revenue of 3.4 trillion won.

Korean Air said revenue from its international passenger business increased, offsetting the hit to cargo shipments from global economic woes and reduced international trade.