SEOUL- Korean Air (KE) is set to expand its operations during the upcoming winter season in response to the resurgence in travel demand.
The expansion plan includes the resumption of services and increased operations to various destinations in China, Japan, Southeast Asia, North America, and Oceania. Additionally, the airline will introduce a new scheduled service to Phu Quoc, Vietnam, commencing on November 26.
Korean Air New Flights
The IATA (International Air Transport Association) winter season typically spans from the last Sunday of October to the last Saturday of March each year. The IATA Winter 2023 season is scheduled to run from October 29, 2023, to March 30, 2024.
Korean Air has been steadily recovering its seat capacity, measured by Available Seat Kilometers (ASK), which reached approximately 85 percent of pre-pandemic levels in September. With the launch of the winter schedule, the airline anticipates a further recovery to over 90 percent of its pre-pandemic capacity.
As part of its winter expansion, Korean Air will inaugurate a new daily service to Phu Quoc, Vietnam, starting on November 26. Phu Quoc, also known as “Pearl Island,” is Vietnam’s largest island, situated in the westernmost region of southern Vietnam. This picturesque destination has earned UNESCO biosphere reserve status, boasting pristine white beaches and lush evergreen forests.
Visitors to the island can enjoy a wide range of activities, from marine adventures and exploration of the national park to relaxation at upscale resorts. November, in particular, is considered an ideal time to visit Phu Quoc as it marks the beginning of the dry season, making it perfect for sun-seekers and travelers.
The new daily flight from Seoul Incheon to Phu Quoc will depart at 3:45 pm, arriving in Phu Quoc at 7:50 pm. The return flight from Phu Quoc will take off at 9:20 pm and land in Seoul Incheon the following day at 4:50 am.
Korean Air is set to recommence flight services to three cities in China and Japan after a hiatus of three years and seven months. The airline’s decision to resume these routes is in line with its efforts to rebuild its extensive global network, particularly in regions where network recovery has been slower compared to others.
For the China routes, Korean Air will operate daily flights for Busan-Shanghai and Seoul Incheon-Xiamen, while Seoul Incheon-Kunming will see four flights per week. This move reflects the airline’s proactive approach to increasing its capacity for travel between China and South Korea, as there has been a notable increase in Chinese visitors.
This uptick in visitors follows China’s decision to allow group tours to 78 countries, including South Korea, Japan, and the United States, starting in August.
Starting in late October, Korean Air will also resume flights from Seoul Incheon to Kagoshima, Niigata, and Okayama in Japan, offering three weekly flights to each destination. This resumption not only enhances schedule flexibility but also provides travelers with more choices for exploring the unique offerings of these smaller Japanese cities.
Increased Flights to Asia Pacific and America
Korean Air is planning to significantly expand its flight network capacity in various regions, including China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Here are the details of the frequency increases on select routes:
- Seoul Incheon-Beijing will increase to 18 times a week from daily.
- Jeju-Beijing will be enhanced to four times a week from the previous three.
- Seoul Incheon-Shenzhen and Seoul Incheon-Xian will become daily flights, up from four times a week.
- Seoul Incheon-Wuhan will increase to four times a week from three.
- Seoul Incheon-Hong Kong will have four daily flights, up from two daily.
- Seoul Incheon-Osaka and Seoul Incheon-Fukuoka routes will increase to four daily flights from three.
- Seoul Incheon-Tokyo Narita will expand to four daily flights from two.
- Seoul Incheon-Nagoya will operate 17 times a week from the previous two daily flights until December 27.
- Incheon-Bangkok will see an increase to five times daily from three.
- Incheon-Manila will be enhanced to three times daily from two.
- Seoul Incheon-Delhi and Seoul Incheon-Kathmandu will operate four times a week, up from three.
- Incheon-Chiang Mai will increase to twice daily from daily until March 2 next year.
- Seoul Incheon-Auckland and Seoul Incheon-Brisbane will have daily flights, up from five times a week, effective from November 10 to March 18 next year.
- Seoul Incheon-Las Vegas route frequency will also increase to five times a week from four.
These frequency increases reflect Korean Air’s efforts to meet the growing demand for air travel and provide passengers with more options on these routes.
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