seoul korea

South Korean low-cost airline will launch flights to Budapest, to the Balkan and to Eastern Europe, says

A Korean Airplane company, Jin Air plans to announce new flights to Europe in 2019. They will have direct flights to Budapest and Zagreb. Their expansion does not stop here, since they want to add Bucharest and Belgrade to their list of destinations.

It is a special surprise that Korean Air’s low cost subsidiary company would start expanding in Europe, starting by launching

two new flights to Budapest and Zagreb from Seoul’s Incshoni international airport.

Choi Jung-ho, the chief executive of the company announced the new flights in a press conference. This shows that their intentions are rather serious. Although they have not specified exact dates yet.

Jin Air launched its first long term flight to Honolulu in 2015, but it operates domestic flights and further short and mid-range flights to China, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Australia. They use Boeing 777-200ER and Boeing 737-800 aircrafts. They would probably fly with the 777 type to Budapest.

Korean-Asiana: Both airlines are known in Budapest, since both of them were rumoured to start flights to Hungary. It did not happen yet, though the number of tourists arriving in Budapest increases year by year. They measure 50 thousand potential travellers a year.  Korean Air tried to enter the Hungarian market, but failed. Asiana Airlines arrived with charter flights in Budapest in 2016.

Mihály Varga minister of National Economy had already consulted the chief executive of Korean Air in order to tighten relationships.

Since 2015 May, there are no administrative barriers to start a direct flight, moreover, there is a new aviation agreement between the countries. Asiana, the second biggest airline of South Korea announced that they start 9 new charters, last April. These flights could only be used by customers of travel agencies. Feedback was good, but for some external cause, a scheduled flight did not depart. In the region, Prague and Warsaw are directly connected to the South Korean capital.

Jost Lammers, chief executive of Budapest Airport said in an interview made at the World Routes Conference that the airport’s strategy includes attracting long-term low cost flight to Budapest. It is an important market potential now in Hungary, which has no rivals in this area on the market. The future establishment of a Jin Air flight shows the strengthening of this strategy in Ferihegy, the airport of Budapest. For travellers, low cost airlines are favourable, but we get a different quality and service, therefore Budapest will remain a secondary low cost airport. Air Canada brought a simplified version of its brand to Hungary. The start of the American flights is good news too, but the airplane used on this route is and old one, and its economy class fits the standards of the 90s.

We get the same feeling about Jin Air upon seeing the first pictures. In the future there may be even more low cost long-term flights to and from Budapest. Air Asia X and Scoot Airline (Singapore) both show interest in Budapest. As experts mentioned, grey areas may disappear from Budapest’s map, but the blanks will probably be filled out by low cost airlines.

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