South Korea’s Asiana Airlines says its second Low Cost Carrier, tentatively named Seoul Air, will launch later this year and will focus exclusively on the international market. The former senior managing director and head of Asiana Airlines’ passenger division, now CEO of Seoul Air, Ryu Kwang-hee, told the Korean Times in an interview that the carrier would operate out of Seoul Incheon plying Asiana’s short-haul routes that are currently unprofitable.
Ryu said the new carrier’s entry would see it operate a network distinct from that of Asiana’s existing LCC brand, Air Busan. “All of Air Busan’s flights are to or from Busan, and Asiana doesn’t operate any of those routes, which means the new LCC’s routes won’t clash with Air Busan’s,” he said.
Unlike Air Busan where it holds a minority 46 per cent shareholding, Asiana will hold a majority stake in Seoul Air thereby allowing it to manage the LCC according to Asiana’s requirements. In addition, Seoul Air will also have access to Asiana’s expertise and resources.