53.7% of Jeju passengers fly on low-cost carriers

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53.7% of Jeju passengers fly on low-cost carriers

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Low-cost carriers are steadily expanding their domestic presence, with their market share for Jeju flights exceeding 50 percent last year for the first time.

According to data from Korea Airports Corporation, 18.23 million people took flights from Jeju in 2013 and 9.79 million, or 53.7 percent, of them used LCCs. Jeju is considered the core route for local carriers as it accounts for 80 percent of domestic air passenger traffic.

The combined market share of Jeju Air, Jin Air, Air Busan, Eastar Jet and T’Way Airlines in Jeju flights was 49.6 percent in 2012 and 8.5 million passengers.

Jeju Air, the nation’s largest LCC with the most Jeju flights, had the top market share among LCCs at 15.7 percent, followed by Jin Air and Eastar Jet, which each had 10 percent. The nation’s top two carriers - Korean Air Lines and Asiana Airlines - saw their Jeju market share decrease. KAL lost 3.7 percentage points to 25.6 percent, while Asiana slipped 0.4 percentage point to 20.7 percent during 2013.

For Gimpo-Jeju flights, the most popular domestic route and the only one where all seven domestic carriers compete, LCCs served 7.25 million passengers, or 59.3 percent of the total.

Jin Air was the best performer among LCCs with a 15.2 percent market share, edging T’Way Airlines by 0.3 percentage point. KAL’s share was 20.8 percent and Asiana’s 20 percent.

Meanwhile, LCCs accounted for 48.9 percent of all domestic passengers in 2013, up 4.5 percentage points from 2012.

Industry insiders say LCCs will continue to expand this year as they add flights and offer aggressive promotions.

Jin Air will award 1,000 free tickets by Jan. 16 through its online event celebrating its 10 millionth passenger.

Eastar Jet, which celebrated its sixth anniversary Tuesday, opened a “10-10 event” yesterday which offers a 10 percent discount on domestic tickets and 10 percent discount at the JDC Duty Free shop.

T’Way Airlines said yesterday it will offer 7,000 Gimpo-Jeju one-way tickets for 26,000 won ($24) on weekdays and 31,100 won on weekends as part of its “Early Bird” promotion through March 29.

Jeju Air is also selling 9,000 one-way tickets from Gimpo to Jeju for 25,100 won through Jan. 17.


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

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