Sunday, June 12, 2016

Korean Air to launch Delhi flight in December 2016

by Soumen Mukherjee



Latest Update as of 2 July 2016: Korean Air launches 5x weekly flight on Delhi-Seoul Incheon route effective from 1 December 2016 and to be operated on Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Korean Air plans to launch non-stop direct flight to Delhi from its Seoul Incheon hub in December 2016. Delhi features prominently among the new routes the carrier mulling as part of its long-haul international network revamp. The airline is also planning to launch a direct flight to Tehran while it is to drop Sao Paulo flight after the end of Olympic Games. Korean Air, the largest airline of South Korea, already serves Mumbai with three weekly flights from Seoul Incheon and is expected to operate at least three weekly flights to Delhi.
 At present Star Alliance (SA) members Air India and Asiana Airlines are the two carriers operating on the 4,657 km (2,515 nm) route between Delhi and Seoul Incheon. While Asiana Airlines operates three weekly non-stop flights Air India flies four weekly one-stop flights via Hong Kong. Average seat capacity on the Delhi-Seoul route has largely remained stagnant in the last few years although passenger demands have substantially increased in leisure as well as business category given the large presence of South Korean majors like Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Hyundai Motor, Doosan Heavy Industries in the national capital region. Until recently Indian and South Korean carriers were permitted to operate only six weekly flights (by each side) between the two countries. Which was revised to 19 weekly flights in November 2015; Taking advantage of the liberalized ASA, Asiana Airlines is set to increase weekly frequency of its Delhi-Seoul Incheon service to five weekly from 3 July 2016; 

Asiana Airlines's current Delhi schedule:
Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
Frequency
Aircraft
OZ 767
Seoul: 20:10
Delhi: 01:00
2,4,6 
A330-300
OZ 768
Delhi: 02:20
Seoul: 12:40
 3,5,7
A330-300

Asiana Airlines's Delhi schedule eff 2/3 July 2016
Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
Frequency
Aircraft
OZ 767
Seoul: 20:40
Delhi: 01:00
 2,3,4,6,7
767-300*
OZ 768
Delhi: 02:20
Seoul: 13:10
1,3,4,5,7 
767-300*

* A330-300 to return in the winter schedule.

Air India's Seoul schedule via Hong Kong 
Flight No
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
Frequency
Aircraft
AI 310
Delhi: 23:05
Seoul: 12:30
 2,4,6,7
787-8
AI 317
Seoul: 14:15
Delhi: 21:20
1,3,5,7 
787-8

Earlier this year Korean Air was reportedly exploring the possibility of a direct flight to one of the South Indian gateways (Chennai or Bengaluru) to cater the sizable Korean diaspora working in Korean auto majors. But the fate of that process is unclear till date. Now, Korean Air's arrival in Delhi not just going to improve Delhi Airport's connectivity to Northeast Asia but also to help SkyTeam (ST) to boost its position in South Asia's busiest aviation hub. At present only seven ST members fly to Delhi and Korean Air going to be the first ST member in years to launch new service to Delhi. We can possibly see some kind of a passenger sharing partnership between Korean Air and Jet Airways as the duo have already entered into a codeshare agreement in February 2016; 

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