South Korea’s largest full-service carrier Korean Air Lines Co. won’t follow hikes by its smaller competitors and keep fares for domestic flights unchanged.
Korean Air was largely expected to join the others and raise its domestic flight rates by 3 percent to 5 percent after both its full-service competitor Asiana Airlines and budget carriers all raised domestic passenger flight rates from 5 percent to 11 percent.
KAL CEO Cho Won-tae opposed to the request by other executives claiming the flag carrier should help to stimulate the sluggish tourism industry and domestic demand.
Higher air fares could further impair the tourism industry hit hard after Chinese visitors stopped coming upon travel ban from Beijing following Seoul’s plan to deploy US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), KAL said.
The nation’s five budget carriers - Jeju Air Co., Jin Air Co., Air Busan Co., Eastar Jet Co. and Tway Air Co.- raised domestic fares by 5 to 11 percent during the first three months of this year. Asiana Airlines raised its by an average of 5 percent starting this month.
By Kim Jung-hwan
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]