New plane shows Jin Air is in it for the long haul

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New plane shows Jin Air is in it for the long haul

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Cho Hyun-min, youngest daughter of Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho and executive director of Jin Air, and Jin Air CEO Ma Won explain the low-cost carrier’s plan to expand to long-haul routes. Provided by the company

Jin Air, the nation’s second-largest low-cost carrier (LCC), said yesterday it will expand to long-haul routes with new aircraft next year.

The affiliate of Korean Air Lines, the nation’s largest flag carrier, said it will take delivery of a 393-seat Boeing B777-200ER in December, the first large-jet purchase by a Korean low-cost carrier. The aircraft will have 30-40 economy-plus seats with more space than regular economy.

The aircraft will fly to Hong Kong and Guam before beginning long-haul service to Hawaii next summer.

“The second half of next year will be the most aggressive business expansion period for Jin Air in terms of size and the number of aircraft,” said Jin Air CEO Ma Won. “In particular, with use of the first large aircraft ever by Korean LCCs, we will explore the market in advance to gain an advantage against other LCCs and have sustainable growth.”

Jin Air, which celebrates its sixth anniversary next month, has been a fast mover among local LCCs. It was the first Korean LCC to have a jet aircraft - the Boeing B737-800 - in 2008.

By next year, the company will have nine new aircraft to increase sales and reduce costs through economy of scale.

Jin Air owns 11 Boeing B737-800s. It will add another B737-800 and the B77-200ER in December, and five B737-800s and two B777-200ERs next year.

With these new aircraft, Jin Air said it will introduce four new routes in the second half of this year.

Starting in October, the carrier will fly from Jeju to Xian and Quanzhou in China twice a week.

In December, it will operate daily flights from Incheon to Fukuoka, Japan, and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. With the new routes, Jin Air’s wil have 16 international flights.

“From January to May, we have earned operating profit of 7.6 billion won [$7.5 million], which is best for that period,” Ma said.

Jin Air will also have a discount promotion called “Jin Market” from July 1-10.

The semiannual event offers discounts of up to 64 percent.

BY joo kyung-don [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]




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