Korean low-cost carrier Jeju Air will launch direct flights between Singapore and Busan on 4 July, and be piloting a new travel class on the route.
The airline will fly Singapore-Busan four times a week, said Jeju’s deputy general manager for regional sales Lee Daewoo during an event at the IATA AGM in Seoul today.
Jeju will be the second carrier to ply the route, after Silkair, and the first Korean airline to do so. Fellow Korean low-cost carrier Eastar Jet will be the third airline.
The airline has not named a firm launch date, but hopes to do so by the end of the year.
Lee says three Jeju aircraft have been reconfigured with the new seating and are based in Busan. These aircraft will feature 174 seats, with 12 “new class” seats four-abreast. This is slightly less than its usual 186/189-seat configuration.
Singapore-Busan will be the longest route in the networks of Jeju and Eastar, Cirium’s flight schedules data shows.
In August 2018, Singapore and South Korea signed a new air services agreement that would permit carriers from either countries to operate up to 14 weekly Busan-Singapore services.
Silkair launched services on 1 May, originally with Boeing 737 Max 8s, before later switching to Boeing 737-800s after the grounding of the Max in March this year..
Asked how the route was performing, Korea country manager at Singapore Airlines and Silkair Seah Chee Chian says load factor on the four-times weekly route was “healthy”. He declined to reveal figures.
Jeju, Eastar, Silkair, as well as Changi Airport Group, Korea Airport Corporation and the Busan Metropolitan City, inked a memorandum of understanding on 31 May to promote trade business and tourism flow between the two cities.