Korean Air is set to resume a handful of Japanese and Chinese routes that have been on hold since the COVID pandemic. The carrier continues to bolster frequencies across its global network as its international recovery continues.
Korean Air reinstates three China destinations
The Korean carrier will resume flights from Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN) to Changsha Huanghua International Airport (CSX) today (July 19th) with five weekly flights, before reinstating services to Wuhan and Weihai from September 24th and September 27th, respectively. The airline has not flown to these destinations in over three years after shelving the routes amid the COVID pandemic.
In June, it was reported that Korean Air would be temporarily suspending select China routes due to strained relations between the two countries, but this doesn’t seem to have affected its recent route announcements. From August, the carrier will suspend services to Beijing and Xiamen, claiming it is due to low load factors rather than being politically motivated. Passenger numbers between the two countries were down by over 73% between April and May of this year, compared to 2019.
Busan to Japan in September
Starting September 27th, Korean Air will begin two routes to Japan out of Gimhae International Airport (PUS) in Busan. The airline will operate a twice-daily service to Fukuoka (FUK) and a daily flight to Nagoya (NGO).
It will deploy its fleet of Boeing 737-900ERs on these routes – these planes can seat up to 173 passengers, with eight in business class and 165 in economy. Korean Air added that these flights will hope to support South Korea’s bid to host the World Expo 2030 in Busan.
Slow but steady international recovery
Korean Air says it has reached 82% of its pre-pandemic international capacity, as measured by available seat kilometers (ASK). The airline is banking on further recovery across its lucrative Chinese and Japanese markets since the two countries reopened fully to international travel this year.
As reported by Airline Ratings, the carrier added capacity to its North American network this month – this includes upping Seoul Incheon-Chicago from five to seven weekly flights, Seoul Incheon-Dallas from four to five flights per week, and Seoul Incheon-San Francisco from seven to nine weekly flights.
Additionally, it has already boosted frequencies to Frankfurt and Milan, and plans to add flights on its routes to Bali, Ulaanbaatar and Sapporo in the coming weeks. As for its Airbus A380 fleet, the carrier is planning A380 flights to Hong Kong in October, which will join its double-decker services to New York, Los Angeles, and Taipei.
Source : Simple Flying