Jeju cancels China flight due to a lack of permission

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Jeju cancels China flight due to a lack of permission

Jeju Air, the nation’s largest low-cost carrier, was in the hot seat after its chartered flight to China’s Hainan Island was canceled four hours prior to departure because it couldn’t get permission from the Chinese government.

According to industry sources, Jeju Air’s flight scheduled to leave at 9:20 p.m. Thursday from Incheon International Airport was scratched at 5 p.m., grounding 186 passengers.

Jeju Air said it received permission yesterday, although it didn’t reveal why the permission was not granted in the first place. The carrier said the flight to Sanya on Hainan Island will run until Aug. 18.

Jeju said Chinese authorities usually grant permission on the day of departure or the preceding, adding that this was the first time it did not receive permission. The airlines flies to 13 destinations in China.

“This is an embarrassing situation for us, too,” said an official from Jeju Air.

Most passengers who booked the Thursday flight bought their tickets through travel agencies, according to Jeju Air. These travel agencies are reportedly considering damage claims against the carrier.

For customers, the affiliate of Aekyung Group said it will give a full refund and additional compensation equivalent to the ticket price. The company said it paid 50,000 won ($45) to each passenger at the airport on Thursday for transportation home.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said that it will discuss the matter with the Chinese authorities.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongnag.co.kr]
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