Air Seoul, a new low-cost carrier (LCC) recently launched by Asiana Airlines Inc., South Korea’s No.2 full-service carrier, said Friday it would service flights to four cities in Japan from October.
It would be running the routes on behalf of its parent company Asiana Airlines. Asiana Airlines with a 100 percent stake in the fledgling budget carrier plans to hand over less profitable routes to the new company.
Air Seoul will fly five times to Shizuoka and Takamatsu from Incheon instead of three by Asiana. It will fly regularly to Nagasaki and Yamaguchi Ube. Some of Asiana Airlines’ flight services to Southeast Asian destinations will also be outsourced to Air Seoul.
Asiana believes it lost many of its customers because most of their routes in short distance overlapped with the budget carrier service. Short-distance destinations in Asia take up 64.4 percent of revenue of the full-service carrier.
Passengers of Asiana decreased 0.7 percent to 1.59 million in the first four months of the year compared with the same period last year. During the same period, passengers at five budget carriers surged 22.5 percent to 2.49 million. Rationalization in routes would likely translate into 6.4 billion won ($5.6 million) profit in its balance sheet this year.
By Kim Jung-hwan
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