Passenger traffic at S. Korean carriers jumps 29 pct in H1

July 8, 2024

Passenger traffic at South Korean carriers jumped 29 percent to a record 47 million in the first half from a year earlier on higher demand for affordable air travel, government data showed Monday.

The number of passengers who traveled via flights offered by 10 local airlines came to 47.56 million in the January-June period, up from 36.83 million a year ago, according to data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

In the first six months, 18.15 million passengers traveled on domestic routes offered by the local carriers and 29.41 million on international routes, up 12 percent and 43 percent, respectively, from the year-ago period, the data showed.

The jump in the first-half passenger traffic was mainly driven by increased flights by low-cost carriers to short-haul destinations in Japan and Southeast Asia amid high inflation and a weak won.

If the current trends continue in the second half, the corresponding figure is expected to reach 100 million for the whole of the year, exceeding the pre-pandemic level of 93.47 million in 2019.

The 10 airlines include two full-service carriers — Korean Air Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc. — and eight budget carriers, such as Jeju Air Co., Jin Air Co., T’way Air, Air Busan Co. and Air Seoul Inc.