SKorea's Jeju Air sees good opportunities amid rising demand for cheap flights
The airline will start operating next June on four routes linking Jeju-Seoul, Jeju-Pusan, Seoul-Pusan and Seoul-Yangyan, with a total of 60 flights a day, he said in an interview during a regional low-cost airlines symposium here.
A survey shows that 70 pct of South Korean people want to travel by air but cannot afford because it is too expensive," the official said.
"Two existing airlines (Korean Air and Asiana Airlines) claim they are low cost airlines, but I don't think that is the case. If we compare with global average, their fares are much higher," Ham said.
Jeju expects its number of passenger to total 1 mln people in the first year and generate profit of 2.5 mln usd, he said.
The airline's strategy to create new demand for air travel is offering fares which will be on average about 30 pct lower than that of existing airlines, on new routes, Ham said.
For future expansion, Jeju plans to add in 2008 two more routes linking Jeju-Daegu and Jeju-Gwangju as well as adding more flights on the Jeju-Seoul and Seoul-Pusan routes, while adding three more aircraft. The total number of passengers at this point will climb to 1.7 mln people per year, Ham said.