Asiana Airlines plans to resume service to Indonesia in late Jul-2013, after eight years of service suspension, as per a 11-Mar-2013 GDS inventory display. The carrier will launch twice weekly Seoul Incheon-Denpasar service from 25-Jul-2013 (utilising Boeing 767-300 equipment configured with 15 business and 235 economy seats) and daily Seoul Incheon-Jakarta service from 21-Jul-2013 (using A330-300 equipment configured with 30 business and 260 seats). The carrier previously operated to Jakarta in Aug-2005. Korean Air and Garuda Indonesia are currently the only two carriers operating between South Korea and Indonesia, according to Innovata. [more – original PR – Korean - Denpasar] [more – original PR – Korean - Jakarta]
Asiana Airlines to resume service to Indonesia after eight year absence
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Batik Air to serve Australia as second Lion Group airline: flying A321neos from Bali
The Lion Group full service Indonesia-based airline subsidiary Batik Air is preparing to launch services to Australia, initially from the popular resort island of Bali. If approved by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Batik will become the second Lion Group airline to serve Australia, after its Malaysian JV – Malindo Air.
Malindo secured CASA approval in 2015 and launched services from Kuala Lumpur to Perth in Nov-2015. Batik will be able to reach deeper into Australia, including Melbourne and Sydney, since Bali is closer to Australia than Kuala Lumpur, and the airline will use new generation longer-range A321neos.
Going through the approval process at CASA – known as one of the world’s most stringent regulators – is part of an overall initiative by the group to raise its international profile and improve safety standards. Lion Group expects all its airlines to be IOSA-registered by the end of 2016 and recently succeeded in removing its parent airline from the EU blacklist.
Hainan Airlines to Las Vegas: more international flights to follow as Southwest starts partnerships
Hainan Airlines' Beijing-Las Vegas 787 service commencing in Dec-2016 will end Korean Air's tenure as the only Asian airline in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is arguably the largest feasible unserved North American market for Hainan. Delivery of over 30 787-9s in coming years means that Hainan will need to establish new markets. The route tests the booking data that airlines and airports rely on: Las Vegas believes airlines have shied away from serving the city and that this is misguided – because Las Vegas' international visitors are not represented, since they often take multi-city itineraries and thus do not appear as a Las Vegas international passenger. Las Vegas wants to prise its international passengers away from transit hubs.
Hainan's presence will initially be about half of Korean Air's, which was upped days prior to Hainan's announcement. Yet this may be the best outcome for Korean. A Chinese service was inevitable, but Las Vegas had to wait for political sensitivities to cool since Las Vegas flights would not have been timely as China's anti-corruption and austerity campaigns unfolded. Hainan brings enough presence to deter more competition in the short term, yet its narrow focus on the outbound Beijing market leaves Korean Air with many opportunities around Asia. Further international growth for Las Vegas is likely after McCarran airport's largest operator, Southwest Airlines, is ready to partner with other airlines in 2018.