Korean Air to hike domestic fares

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Korean Air to hike domestic fares

Korean Air is set to raise its fares for domestic flights by 9.9 percent on average on July 18. It is the first time in eight years that the airline has raised its ticket prices for flights in the country. Other airlines operating domestic routes are also reviewing their prices.

Korean Air flights will be 12 percent more expensive on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with a lower hike of 6 percent added on Mondays through Thursdays. During the peak season, ticket prices will rise 15 percent.

Economy seats from Gimpo to Jeju, the airline’s most frequently operated domestic route, will cost 82,000 won ($71) on Mondays through Thursdays, up from 73,400 won. Weekend flights will jump from 84,400 won to 95,000 won. Passengers can take advantage of the cheaper prices if they book their flights by July 17.

“We’ve been discussing the hike for a long time as our fares have not reflected inflation growth since [2004],” said Park Hyun-jung, a spokesperson for Korean Air.

Consumer prices have risen 28 percent since July 2004, the airline said.

Other airlines are considering following suit or have already issued statements confirming they will raise their prices. An official at Asiana Airlines said it is mulling a similar move.

Budget airline Eastar Jet is set to raise its peak season fares by 7 percent from July 3. Busy weekends, such as holidays, will also be subject to the new fares, it said.

As of May, Korean Air held less than 30 percent of the domestic flight market, while low-cost carriers had 42.95 percent.
By Lee Sun-min [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]
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