South Korea is opening up the number of flight slots to local airlines for flights between South Korea and China, with the majority of slots going to the country’s low cost carriers.
Following an agreement between South Korea and China, South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has granted 139 additional flights per week to China with the majority (118 on 30 routes) going to the low cost carriers. The remaining 21 flight slots would go to the full service carriers Korean Air and Asiana.
With the South Korean low cost carriers getting most of the new flight slots, the ministry also shared some details as to the allocation of routes to airlines. Among the major developments include Jeju Air and T’Way getting up to 14 additional flights weekly between Seoul-Incheon and Beijing. Eastar Jet will get a new route between Seoul-Incheon and Shanghai, and other low cost carriers will be granted rights to operate flights between Seoul and the Chinese cities of Shenyang and Nanjing.
The new flights are expected to meet the growing demand of travel between the two countries, and fares are expected to be reduced with low cost carriers benefiting the most from this move.
According to an unnamed ministry official quoted on The Korea Times, the new flights could start within the next few months saying: "Airlines that have been granted new flight rights will likely begin flights in three to four months after obtaining necessary licenses and preparations."