Seoul Gimpo International Airport
- CAPA Analysis
- Schedule Analysis
- Route Maps
- Print Summary
- IATA Code
- South Korea
- Other airports serving Seoul
- Air Base
Seoul Incheon International Airport
- 3200m x 60m
3600m x 45m
- Airlines currently operating to this airport with scheduled services
- Air Busan
All Nippon Airways
China Eastern Airlines
China Southern Airlines
Gimpo International Airport is a major airport serving the city of Seoul and the former national gateway prior to the opening of Incheon Airport in 2001. Hosting domestic and International passenger and cargo services it is well located in downtown Seoul. The airport is served by over 10 passenger and cargo airlines including Asiana Airlines and Korean Air lines.
Location of Seoul Gimpo International Airport, South Korea
Ground Handlers servicing Seoul Gimpo International Airport
150 total articles
Jeju Air announces details of 2013/14 international winter schedules; changes to Japan flight number
8 total articles
As CAPA's LCCs and New Age Airlines Sep-2013 conference in Seoul clearly identified, the wheels are starting to turn in Korea, the home of the first LCCs in North Asia. But more recently it has suffered from stagnation as carriers do not offer a cost base that is competitive with other LCC developments in the region. Jin Air is the country's second largest LCC and wholly-owned by Korean Air. This brings advantages but also disadvantages, as CEO Won Ma said at the CAPA conference. Mr Ma sees that Jin Air needs to improve its cost base and has started to charge for small ancillaries, but not luggage. Jin Air also incurs higher costs from using some Korean Air services.
2012 was Jin Air's third year of profits, which were very respectable given the industry but lagging considering Jin Air's modest network, with limited competition. But the Jin Air-Korean Air relationship is far ahead of Asiana and its partially-owned LCC unit Air Busan, struggling to remain relevant up against Jin Air and the the even larger Jeju Air, Korea's largest independent LCC. If Jin Air, like other LCCs, can make very necessary cost structure reforms, there are increasing opportunities as the Korean outbound market grows, thanks to the strengthening of the won. It is time now more than ever to apply more pressure on the accelerator.
Korean LCCs are increasing their market share, accounting for 10% of the international market and just under 50% in the much smaller domestic arena. But they are still passing up numerous opportunities, and these are becoming more apparent and with greater impact as LCCs increase in North Asia, notably Japan.
Two – Air Busan and Jin Air – are tethered to their full-service parents while independent Jeju Air has done comparatively well and preparing for an IPO to advance growth. But smaller independent LCCs Eastar Jet and t'way are still moving up. They straddle the low-cost and full-service spectrum, being closer to low fare than low-cost airlines. While they argue the Korean market is not ready for LCCs, they know they must move as international competition intensifies. They only need to look at Japan's Peach, which is finding success in another market once thought to be too sensitive for LCCs. AirAsia Japan's failure is a reminder that finding the nuances and achieving balance between management style, market demand and the balance sheet is not easy.
Change may finally be coming to South Korea’s low-cost carrier scene. Once the home of innovation and the only notable examples of LCCs in North Asia, the numerous LCCs stagnated under a “Korea-style” LCC model that reduced some costs, making them lower-cost than the full-service legacy incumbents, but far from being internationally competitive. There were bouts of unprofitability and plenty of unexploited opportunities for expansion.
Independent Jeju Air, Korea’s third-oldest carrier (now eight years old) and first LCC, is more acutely aware than its mainline subsidiary LCCs of the changing dynamics in North Asia and is looking to respond.
Japanese low-cost carriers as well as those from Southeast Asia have a growing presence in Korea, and the Korean market is increasingly warming to them. With a new CEO, Jeju Air is looking to move away from its hybrid model to further reduce costs, and is also open to partnerships and alliances. If Jeju is able to achieve these goals, Korea’s other LCCs will be pressed to respond – creating a very dynamic North Asia LCC scene.
The nearly 20 year duopoly on South Korean air services held by Asiana and Korean Air was broken in 2006 with the launch of Jeju Air. That gave Korea its first low-cost alternative, establishing the country as a vibrant ground for potential new carriers, but only two made it to market and amassed scale: Jeju Air and Eastar Jet. More recently, t'way – rebranded from Hansung Airlines – has launched, but with a rocky experience and uncertain future as the airline remains for sale.
The experience for Eastar Jet and Jeju has not been equal. Jeju Air had to forge a path as a new carrier, and so encountered typical resistances, but has been rewarded with the status as Korea’s third largest carrier, larger than the LCC spin-offs from Asiana and Korean Air. Eastar Jet, the last of the new carriers to launch, has found it difficult to secure a position. Jeju Air is closer to being a hybrid carrier and both must re-define themselves and their cost base as regional competition increases. No position is guaranteed or forced.
South Korea was once the heartland – and limit – of LCCs in North Asia, but with the LCC movement gaining pace the country now risks stagnation. That is represented in Air Busan and Jin Air, the respective LCC subsidiaries of full-service carriers Asiana and Korean Air.
Air Busan is the larger of the two and advantaged with a base in its namesake city, a second-tier one that like elsewhere in the region often gets overlooked for service. But inefficiencies have creeped in with an Airbus A321 and Boeing 737 fleet and domestic services competing with high speed rail. Its profits are lower than Jin Air, which has the much larger Seoul and Incheon areas to call home but whose network still plays second fiddle to Korean Air, which will see foreign LCCs further erode its network.
Jin Air, like Air Busan, must be allowed a larger role. Jin Air's advantages will be narrowed as other LCCs make Seoul their first point of call of Korea. Air Busan and Jin Air can maintain the status quo in the short-term, but soon need the shackles taken off.
South Korea’s five major LCCs held an aggregate domestic market share of 40.3% in the six months to Jun-2011 (1H2011), a new record for LCC penetration in the North Asian nation. This penetration marks a significant rise from a combined market share of just 9.7% three years ago.