The year is ending on a high for Melbourne airport with a record number of international airlines now flying to Victoria’s capital airport.

On 27 December, South Korea’s Asiana Airlines started seasonal services to Seoul’s Incheon airport, making it the 38th international carrier to serve Melbourne airport.

The airline is operating two direct flights a week between Melbourne and the South Korean capital using a state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 aircraft, fitted with 311 seats in a two-class configuration with 28 in 1-2-1 configured business class and 283 in 3-3-3 economy class.

With a population of more than nine million people, Seoul is a global economic hub and the gateway to one of the world’s manufacturing powerhouses as well as being the home of K-Pop.

Flights will operate every Tuesday and Thursday, departing Melbourne at 2200 and arriving at Seoul’s Incheon airport the following morning.

Melbourne airport Chief of Aviation, Jim Parashos, said Asiana’s arrival in Melbourne marked another significant milestone for Victoria.

“Until now, Seoul was one of our largest unserved markets, with travellers forced to connect through other ports in Australia or Asia,” he said.

“These direct services will mean passengers and Victorian exporters can avoid the cost and inconvenience of transiting through another city to reach South Korea.

“Earlier this month we were the first Australian capital city airport to exceed our 2019 international seat capacity, and Asiana’s arrival means we now have more international airlines flying here than ever before.

“This is testament to the efforts of teams at both Melbourne Airport and the Victorian State Government, who have worked in partnership to secure capacity as airlines brought aircraft back into service.

Melbourne airport says it is hopeful that Asiana might convert the service to regular, year-round flights in the future.