Air Seoul adds to non-Japan routes

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Air Seoul adds to non-Japan routes

Air Seoul said Tuesday it will launch a new service connecting Incheon International Airport with Nha Trang, Vietnam, on Dec. 18.

The flight will run once every day leaving Incheon at 8:10 a.m. and arriving in Nha Trang at 10:20 a.m. A returning flight from Vietnam leaves at 11:20 a.m. According to the budget airline arm under Asiana Airlines, it is the only local airline that offers flights to Nha Trang from Incheon in the morning.

When the Nha Trang service launches, the airline will be traveling to three destinations in Vietnam.

Air Seoul already operates a service from Incheon to Da Nang, Vietnam, and will launch a service to Hanoi from Incheon on Dec. 16.

The effort to increase routes to Southeast Asia comes as a trade spat between Seoul and Tokyo has reduced travel demand to Japan. The budget airline has been the most affected local airline, as 66 percent of its routes were for Japan.

“In the winter, Japanese routes will account for only 25 percent of our services thanks to the newly launched routes,” a spokesperson from Air Seoul said.

Another alternative market the airline has been looking at is China.

From Oct. 16 it will start a new service connecting Incheon and Zhangjiajie, China. The flight to the Chinese city will run thrice-weekly. According to the airline, it is the first to run a direct flight between Seoul and Zhangjiajie.

It’s not only Air Seoul that is diversifying its routes to reduce dependence on Japan.

Eastar Jet said Tuesday it will launch a service between Incheon and Macau on Oct. 27. T’way Air will launch a service between Incheon and Chiang Mai, Thailand, on Nov. 22.

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

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