Published : 2013-03-15 20:41
Updated : 2013-03-15 20:41
The introduction of Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy S4 smartphone has one clear winner ― Korean Air Lines Co.
Samsung Electronics may ship about 44 million of the smartphones in the second and third quarters, according to Young Park, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul. A Boeing Co. 747-8 freighter plane carrying nothing else can hold about 1 million phones.
Moving high-value goods such as a smartphone by air quickly to various markets is important for Samsung to capture market share when the product has maximum demand. The introduction will likely reverse a two-year decline in freight sales at the Seoul- based carrier, the world’s second-biggest international cargo airline.
“The Galaxy can provide Korean Air with the relief it needs during these difficult times,” said Joo Hae Mee, an analyst at LIG Investment & Securities Co. with a buy rating on the airline. While the introduction of one product isn’t enough to make a full recovery, given the dire situation of the cargo industry worldwide, this is positive.”
The global air-freight market shrank 1.5 percent in 2012 for a second consecutive year and airlines were filling less than half of their cargo planes, according to the International Air Transport Association. Hurt by the economic slowdown, cargo carriers such as Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. have turned to high-value items like diamonds because moving low-technology goods is adding little to profits.
Mobile phones are one of the top three products that are moved by air in South Korea, home to Samsung and LG Electronics Inc. Airlines haul about $5 trillion annually of total cargo, accounting for a third of the global trade in terms of value, according to IATA.