South Korea’s airline companies opened or are planning to open 39 new routes this year. The total breaks down into two by Korean Air, three by Asiana Airlines, 13 by Jeju Air, one by Jin Air, five by T’way Air, three by Air Busan, eight by Eastar Jet, and four by Air Seoul.
Korean Air and Asiana Airlines focused on flights to Europe. Korean Air opened a new route between Incheon and Zagreb, Croatia last month. It is the first direct regular flight between Asia and Croatia. Asian Airlines started services between Incheon and Venice and between Incheon and Barcelona in May and August, respectively.
In the meantime, low-cost carriers (LCCs) concentrated on tourists to and from Japan, China and Southeast Asia. For instance, Eastar Jet launched flights to and from Japan and Vladivostok and T’way Air started services between Daegu and Russia and Japan. The two airlines are planning to increase mid-distance flights with new planes as well.
Air Busan opened new routes between Busan and Japan, Southeast Asia and Russia, too. The company is likely to become the South Korean LCC with the largest number of flights to Japan at the end of this year. Under the circumstances, the number of airplanes operated by South Korean airlines is expected to increase by 25 from a year ago.