The Korean government decided to open Incheon International Airport around the clock for international flights from June 8, drawing much attention on the possibility of stabilizing airfares that have been skyrocketing.
In preparation for a flight demand survey by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport coming next week, airlines are now looking into the demand for each route and staff’s work schedule, according to the aviation industry’s report on Friday. They are aiming to set out plans to add more flights, as aviation regulations imposed to cap the number of international flights, including slot restrictions that limit the number of arrival flights per hour and night curfew on flights, will soon be lifted. The measure is projected to accelerate the rise in the number of flights on popular routes, with added night and morning flights naturally bringing down plane ticket prices.
The tourism industry also expects that more late-night flights available will lower air fares. Some predicts that it will give a boost to late-night and early-morning traveling that were easily seen during peak seasons. “Airlines are acting very fast, already having meetings with travel agencies to analyze demand,” a source in the airline industry said. “When the flight shortage ends, flight prices may go down by 20-30% in phases.”
Some say, however, that staff shortages and remaining disease control restrictions, such as PCR test mandate, will come as a barrier in normalizing the number of international flights. Flights to China, Korea’s largest air destination, has yet to normalize, coming in the way for the airlines to add more flights. “There still are various challenges, including filling the air staff vacancies on long-term leave and the remaining disease control procedures on arrival, which is a reason for falling travel demands. These must be considered when planning to increase flights,” said an aviation industry source.
Jae-Hyeng Kim email@example.com