DALLAS – South Korea’s national and largest airline, Korean Air (KE), has announced a new expansion plan in Europe, which will include the rerouting to four cities in the continent after a three-year hiatus during the pandemic.
KE will restart regular flights from Seoul (ICN) to Prague (PRG) and Zurich (ZRH) in March, followed by Istanbul (IST) in April.
Additionally, the Korean carrier presented new services to Spain at Madrid’s 2023 International Tourism Fair (FITUR). This includes an increase of frequencies to Barcelona (BCN) to four weekly and the awaited return of the airline to Madrid (MAD) on April 25, 2023, with three weekly flights for the moment.
Along with the announcement, KE stated that “every week, new routes and frequencies will enforce the connection possibilities with Seoul. For example, Sydney with again daily flights, Brisbane and Auckland with five weekly services. As a reminder, since September 2022 all the sanitary restrictions have been lifted for travelers to South Korea, and passengers are no longer required to present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival”.
Also, all KE flights no longer overfly Russian airspace for safety reasons. Consequently, flight times will be lengthened up to one more hour.
Korean Air Is Back
The resumption of these four major destinations by Korean Air, in addition to the improved connectivity with Spain, shows a good sign about the prosperity of the airline after the crisis the carrier suffered in 2020 and 2021. Korean Air’s CEO, Walter Cho, published a new year statement announcing the airline’s current situation and future goals in 2023.
“We’ve seen a glimpse of normalization and the airports are beginning to bustle with passengers we have missed dearly. We also found hope and pleasure in returning to work to see our colleagues,” stated Cho.
He continued by saying, “2023 is a pivotal year for completing the huge task of closing our acquisition of Asiana Airlines. We are in the last stage with the remaining overseas competition authorities reviewing the merger.” He also thanked the KE team for their patience and asked them to do their part going forward as one family.
The truth is that this year will be critical for tourism development in South Korea, as the rise of demand for flights and the merger between the country’s largest airlines will define the future development of one of the most complex and profitable markets in Eastern Asia.
Featured image: Nick Sheeder/Airways.