Lung transplantation is the only effective treatment option for patients with end-stage lung disease. However, donor organ shortage makes timely transplant not possible for all patients, especially in Korea. We investigated the number and utilization of donor lungs by retrospectively reviewing all donor organs registered in the Korea Network for Organ Sharing database from March 2012 to March 2016. The donors were stratified into 4 groups by donor acceptability criteria. A total of 1,304 donors were included. Of those, 295 brain-dead donors (22.6%) consented to lung donation. Among these consented donors, 168 donors (12.9%) were retrieved for lung transplant. Retrieval rate was very low compared with that of the kidney (93.9%), liver (86.3%), and heart (27.3%). The characteristics of utilized donor lungs were: mean age, 40.5 years (range: 18 to 63 years); mean partial pressure of oxygen, 356.5 mmHg; mean smoking history, 5.9 pack-years; and mean body mass index, 22.6 kg/m². The proportion of donors with acceptable condition of the transplanted lungs was only 39.3% (ideal 19, standard 47, marginal 70, unusable 32). Among brain-dead patients who denied to donate lungs (n = 1,009), 82 were potentially acceptable donors (ideal 19, standard 63), which was equal to half of actually transplanted lung donations. Many potential donor lungs, which are currently excluded, may be successfully used in lung transplantation in Korea. The available lung donors must be actively selected and managed to maximize the utilization of this precious resource.