Published on : Saturday, June 17, 2017
In the current context, as per the industry sources said on Saturday, South Korean budget carriers are in the process of fortifying its international routes to Southeast Asia and Japan in an initiation to soak up the increasing demand of low-cost air travel and recovering losses stemming from the drop in Chinese passengers in the middle of a political upheaval over a missile defense system.
Early this week, Eastar Jet started it services on the Incheon-Da Nang route with a schedule to start the Incheon-Sapporo route from July 1.
Previously, Jeju Air, another budget carrier (LCC), proposed a plan to enlarge its fleet size to 32 jets by the end of 2017. The carrier started a new plane on Japan and Southeast Asia routes and greater number of flights to meet the increasing demand of the passengers.
To quote Kim Hyun-jin, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp, ‘budget carriers are diversifying their international routes, particularly to Japan and Southeast Asian countries, for summer travel season.’ The initiation came in the middle of a steep fall in terms of the number of Chinese tourists to South Korea after Beijing debarred the sales of South Korea-bound trips from mid-March as a sign of objection of Seoul’s exploitation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery on its soil. As per Korea Tourism Organization, in April, the total number of inbound Chinese visitors decreased by 66.6 percent in comparison to the last year.
In April, South Korea witnessed a major fall in the number of Japanese tourists to 5.4 percent on yearly basis largely because of increasing geographical instability on the Korean Peninsula in the face of evolving nuclear and intimidation of missile from North Korea, although the comparable figure for the January-March period raised a sharp 22 percent on-year.