South Korea's Incheon International Airport Corp (IIAC) appointed Chang-Soo Jung as CEO (DFNI Online, 04-Jun-2013). Mr Jung replaces CW Lee who left the company in Feb-2013. The position is for a three-year period with the possibility of a further one-year extension.
IIAC appoints new CEO
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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.
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.