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Photo: Asiana Airlines

Asiana to cut routes, stop first-class service

The troubled South Korean airline and Star Alliance member is trying to find ways to cut costs.

South Korea’s struggling Asiana Airlines says it will suspend three international routes from early July and cease operating its first-class cabins in September.

The measures are being made in an effort to boost profitability as it goes through a leadership change, Reuters reports.

The three routes to be axed include flights from Seoul’s Incheon airport to two Russian cities, Khabarovsk and Sakhalin, and Delhi in India, starting July 8.

The country’s second-biggest airline will also eliminate its first-class seats starting September, instead offering cheaper premium seats called Business Suite.

Stake sale
Kumho Industrial, the main shareholder in Asiana Airlines, said last month it would sell its entire stake in the debt-laden carrier and later hired Credit Suisse to manage the stake sale.

Amid rising fuel costs and competition from budget carriers, the troubled airline has already sold assets to improve its financial health and reduce debt from aircraft purchases.

Asiana’s creditors have said it would provide 1.6 trillion won ($1.22 billion) in financial support to the airline, alleviating liquidity problems.

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