The word's out. Korean Air's Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) - tentatively named Air Korea – begins operation in May out of its base, Incheon International Airport.
The new LCC will launch routes to the Chinese provinces of Shandong and Hainan, which are under the open skies agreement between Korea and China, as are routes to Japan except Tokyo, Thailand and Malaysia. Three Airbus A300s and two Boeing B737s will be used. Widening the carrier’s network to other short and mid-distance destinations is also in the pipeline.
“In line with the economic growth in the region, leisure travel has become more and more popular. There is a group of travellers who are looking for more competitive fare(s). Korean Air aims to launch an LCC to enable this group of travellers to enjoy Korean Air’s excellent service,” the Korean Air spokesperson says.
“The launch of a LCC will complement Korean Air’s service, with Korean Air targeting the higher-end market (which includes business travel) and the LCC providing competitive service for short to mid-haul.
“Moreover, although the two airlines will operate as separate entities, the new LCC’s maintenance and operation training will be outsourced to Korean Air, which has more than 40 years of experience in both fields. This will be a unique operating model for the new LCC.”