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.

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