Korean Air reduces flights to Japan in bid to develop APAC and Chinese services

Korean Air's new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Korean Air has announced its plans to adjust the frequency of some routes, in consideration of decreasing demand of Japanese routes due to Korea-Japan tensions. At the same time, the airline will increase the frequency of routes in the Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Chinese markets.

Korean Air will suspend the Busan-Osaka route (14 flights a week) from 16 September , as well as Jeju-Narita (three flights a week) and Jeju-Osaka (four flights a week) from 1 November.

The airline will also temporarily suspend some of its other routes. Incheon-Komatsu (three flights a week) and Incheon-Kagoshima (three flights a week) will be suspended from 29 September  to 16 November, and Incheon-Asahikawa (five flights a week) will be suspended from 29 September to 26 October.

For Incheon-Osaka/Fukuoka routes, both routes currently have 28 flights a week, and the frequency will be decreased to 21 flights a week between 27 October and 16 November. The frequency of Incheon-Okinawa will be reduced from seven to four flights a week, and Busan-Narita/Fukuoka from fourteen to seven flights a week, between 29 September  and 16 November .

In the meantime, Korean Air plans to strengthen its route competitiveness by focusing more on other markets, such as Southeast Asia, Oceania, and China in the winter season.

To begin with, Korean Air will launch a new daily route to Clark, Philippines, starting from October 27. The airline will also add four more operations a week for Incheon-Chiang Mai/Bali, increasing the number of flights per week to eleven. In Oceania, the frequency of the Incheon-Brisbane route will be increased from five to seven flights a week.

Korean Air is also planning to expand its network to China with the launch of new direct services. The airline plans to start direct flights from Incheon to Zhangjiajie and Hangzhou three times a week each, and Incheon-Nanjing four times a week. The service between Incheon and Beijing will be operated 17 times a week, up from the previous 14 a week.

In other changes, Korean Air will boost the frequency on some domestic routes. It will launch a new service between Pohang and Jeju seven times a week, and the Ulsan-Jeju flight will be operated seven times a week, an increase of two flights a week.

The schedule updates are subject to government approval and will come into effect after government approval.

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