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Korean gov‘t unveils plans to promote aviation industry

. Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during a government-public debate held in Incheon on Mar. 7, 2024. [Photo by Lee Seung-hwan] 

According to Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea,

South Korea will develop Incheon International Airport into a global mega hub airport capable of accommodating 130 million international passengers by 2030.

The plan involves the Korean government completing the fourth phase of its airport expansion project in October 2024, which involves expanding Incheon Airport Terminal 2 to increase passenger capacity by more than 30 million.

Under the measures unveiled during a government-public debate on Thursday, the government will dramatically increase air routes.

Currently, the number of countries with which Korea has open-skies agreements stands at 50. The government plans to expand it to 70 countries by 2030. Open-skies agreements allow unrestricted flight operations between countries.

The government will also expand access to Southwest Asia and Central Asia.

The local aviation industry welcomed the government’s measures, saying that they will improve convenience for passengers and address the issue of relatively high airfares in certain regions with high demand but limited supply.

The government also presented plans to support Korean Air Lines Co.’s planned merger with Asiana Airlines Inc. and streamline its operations after the merger, which awaits its final approval.

This includes relocating Asiana Airlines and its subsidiaries from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 after the approval of the merger and the completion of the fourth phase of airport expansion.

The government will also enhance support for low-cost carriers (LCCs).

Following the merger, the government plans to support the entry of national LCCs on 37 routes in 16 countries, where the presence of alternative airlines is deemed necessary.

Efforts will also be made to increase opportunities for their long-haul routes with historically limited air traffic rights. The government will also support the diversification of seat classes, including business and premium economy class.

The government also plans to construct a business-exclusive terminal at Incheon International Airport by 2028, alongside the Seoul Gimpo Business Aviation Center (SGBAC) at Gimpo International Airport, to attract international business tourists.

Currently, business-exclusive flights are not being used much as companies are downsizing their operations.

An industry insider anticipates that the demand for pilots, cabin crew, and maintenance personnel could increase based on corporate demand.

By Hong Hae-jin, Cho Yun-hee, and Yoon Yeon-hae

Copyrights Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea. All Rights Reserved.

Source: Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea (March 8, 2024)

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