Jeju Air plans to purchase six airplanes

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Jeju Air plans to purchase six airplanes

Jeju Air, the nation’s largest low-cost carrier, plans to buy at least six aircraft this year, the most since it launched in 2005.

The affiliate of Aekyung Group announced its 2014 business plan yesterday, which aims to “secure differentiated competitiveness by reinforcing business identity.”

Jeju Air said all of its new aircraft will be Boeing 737-800s with 186 to 189 seats. The company will retire three aircraft from a fleet of 16 or 17 planes.

“We plan to increase our domestic market share and offer more international flights to Japan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, Guam and China,” the company said in a statement.

Jeju Air currently operates Gimpo-Jeju, Busan-Jeju and Cheongju-Jeju flights, and plans to add a Daegu-Jeju route this summer. The company’s goal is to increase its market share on Jeju flights to 20 percent from 16 percent.

Internationally, Jeju Air plans to double its flights to Bangkok and Fukuoka, Japan, to 14 times a week.

Jeju Air said it will have a domestic capacity of 3.528 million seats with the new aircraft, up 11 percent from last year, while international capacity will soar 46 percent to 3.18 million.

The company, led by CEO Choi Kyu-nam, expects sales to reach 530 billion won ($497 million) this year, up 23 percent from last year. In 2013, Jeju Air became the first Korean low-cost carrier to surpass annual sales of 400 billion won.

The carrier said its goal for 2014 is to have 25 billion won in operating profit, up 10 billion won from last year. Jeju Air said because of its investment to upgrade its IT system, operating profit for 2013 missed the 17 billion won target.


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

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