South Korea's Government announced it will raise its security levels at all airports ahead of the G-20 economic summit set to take place 11-12-Nov-2010 (passenger terminal today, 03-Nov-2010). The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said alert levels at all 15 of the country’s airports will be raised to "orange" as of 04-Nov-2010 from "yellow" at present. A red alert will be issued as of 08-Nov-2010 for Incheon, Gimpo, Gimhae, Cheongju and Jeju international airports and will be maintained until 13-Nov-2010. The other 10 airports will be placed on safety levels that are commensurate with a red alert.
South Korea to heighten airport security ahead of G-20 summit
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Korea's Eastar Jet LCC joins U-FLY LCC alliance to strengthen position in China and Southeast Asia
Korean LCC Eastar Jet has become the fifth member of the U-FLY LCC Alliance, established in Jan-2016. Eastar Jet also becomes the first member not affiliated with the HNA Group or based in Greater China. Eastar Jet's membership comes after its larger competitor Jeju Air became a founding member of the competing LCC Value Alliance in May-2016.
For now both alliances are more like commercial partnerships, where new technology (Air Black Box, compatible with IATA's New Distribution Capability) enables the member airlines to cross-sell not just seats, but also the critical components of varied ancillary revenue. Both alliances have small costs – and thus low risk – while the U-FLY Alliance is unique in being a platform for the ever-expansive HNA Group to foster synergies among companies.
Although it is Korea's smallest major LCC, Eastar Jet has the largest LCC operation into mainland China. Eastar expects to benefit from potential cooperation through U-FLY; it will allow it to reach more inland and western Chinese points that are too far or thin for its network, but are where U-FLY's three mainland members are based.
Jeju Air is Northeast Asia's largest LCC outside China; opening a Busan base to continue growth
Jeju Air continues to hold its place as Korea's largest LCC, and the largest LCC in Northeast Asia outside mainland China. Although service to its namesake island of Jeju continues to define its domestic network, internationally Jeju Air has long been expanding outside the geography of its brand. Seoul has been Jeju Air's main focus, and in 2016 Jeju Air is building up in Busan. Jeju Air CEO Ken Choi remarked at CAPA's Asia Aviation Summit that Jeju Air is targeting 20% of Korea's second largest city, which the airline believes is not being well served by Asiana's LCC Air Busan. Early moves are critical: Busan is running out of slots.
Jeju Air has an all-737 fleet of 25 aircraft and expects to add two more around the end of 2016. In 2017 Jeju Air will adopt the technology for the Value Alliance of which it is a member. Mr Choi hopes to see the alliance expand in mainland China, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
Consolidation among Korean LCCs is still as necessary as it is unlikely. Open skies with China is another contentious matter for Korea, with full service airlines opposed to it, whereas LCCs support the development.