Low-cost airlines offer even larger discounts

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Low-cost airlines offer even larger discounts

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Low-cost air carriers are gearing up for New Year demands, offering discounts on a number of domestic and international routes.

Jeju Air, the nation’s largest low-cost airline, is offering more than 80 percent off all flights, both domestic and international, departing from January through March in a sale dubbed “Adieu 2016.” Reservations are available through the airline’s mobile app and webpage from 10 a.m. today through 5 p.m. Dec. 30.

Tickets to Jeju are the cheapest offer from the airline. One-way tickets to Jeju from Gimpo, Busan, Daegu and Cheongju will start at 18,100 won ($15.22).

On its 32 international routes to Japan, Chinese territories, Southeast Asia and Oceania, price cuts differ by route.

The starting price for a one-way ticket bound from Incheon to Macao is set at 88,000 won, roughly 86 percent off the original price. Flights headed for Okinawa, Japan from Busan start at 53,000 won, a 92 percent cut.

Tickets bought under special promotions, however, do not include luggage delivery, though carry-on bags weighing less than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) are free to take onboard.

Jeju Air is not the only one getting a head start on the new year to win more customers.

Air Seoul, a recently launched LCC subsidiary of Asiana Airlines, is discounting routes headed to five cities in Japan: Takamatsu, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Ube and Shizuoka, departing Jan. 10 through Feb. 28. The cheapest round-trip fare to the cities starts at 128,000 won.

“Japan’s renowned Mount Fuji is located in Shizuoka and Takamatsu and is an uncrowned capital of udon noodles,” a spokesperson from Air Seoul said. “We hope many people can travel around cities they have not yet been to by taking opportunity of the special promotion.”

The promotion started Friday and runs through Dec. 30, through Air Seoul’s mobile app and webpage.

T’way Air is running a promotion for travelers departing from the beginning of March through March 25. Reservations for domestic flights began Monday while international ticket purchases start today. The promotion runs through Sunday.

All tickets to Jeju will be discounted. Travelers can visit Jeju on a 15,000 won one-way ticket on weekdays and 21,000 on weekends.

International routes on sale include flights to Osaka, Sapporo, Saipan and Bangkok, leaving from international airports at Incheon, Daegu and Gimpo.

T’way Air, in particular, holds early-bird events every fourth week of the month, according to the company.

While LCCs are making headway in next year’s business, the nation’s largest air carrier Korean Air has been hit with pilot strikes, which have led to the cancelling of 84 flights.

Failed wage negotiations led to pilots deciding to strike Friday for the first time in 11 years. From Thursday through next Monday, a peak time for holiday travel, 20 international fights to Japan, China and the Middle East will be cancelled along with 64 domestic flights, according to the airline’s webpage.

The pilots’ union had originally demanded a 37 percent wage raise, then amended it to ask for a 29 percent raise. However, the company is maintaining that no more than 1.9 percent raise is possible, the same rate agreed on with the union of non-pilots.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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