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Contrasting fortunes for Korea’s ever-growing ranks of airlines.
The new players are flying high while the traditional big names — Korean Air and Asiana Airlines — are experiencing some turbulence.
Lee Jeong-yeon reports.
Korea’s low-cost carriers are taking a bigger share of the market these days, with the number of passengers opting to fly at cheaper prices steadily increasing.
However, the number of people flying with full-service carriers, or FSC’s, — such as the country’s main carriers Korean Air and Asiana Airlines — is on a steady downswing.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport said on Monday that, in May, LCC’s took a 57 percent share of all total domestic flights and a record-high of 26 percent of international flights.
Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, on the other hand, both saw drops year-on-year, whilst all the low-cost carriers saw significant increases on-year, with Jeju and T’way Airlines seeing a more than a 50-percent increase.
The most popular budget airlines for flights abroad were Jeju Air, Jin Air, and T’way Airlines.
“An ingreasing number of young travelers on package deals are using low-cost carriers for short-distance flights.”
The main difference between the two types of airlines is simple.
Full-service carriers offer added services, such as in-flight meals, free beverages, and access to airport lounges for frequent fliers.
Conversely, low-cost carriers only sell core products such as seating and minimal luggage allowance.
Despite such limitations, people still see the perks of traveling with low-cost airlines.
“You kind of wanna keep it cheap because at the end of the day it’s just a flight. You don’t need all the expensive stuff. You get from one place to the other. That’s it.”
“People used to think low-cost airlines were synonymous with low-quality, but that has changed recently due to the diverse options these carriers are offering. So I prefer to travel with them.”
“Pundits say this growing popularity of low-cost airlines can be attributed to young Koreans wanting to travel on a budget in a struggling economy. And we can expect this trend to continue growing for the time being.
Lee Jeong-yeon, Arirang News”
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