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Siege2L
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Suspended Flights To Seoul

Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:10 pm

I have noticed over the years Seoul ( SEL - Kimpo ), not ICN, had encountered a disruption of services from international flying ( before ICN opened ). For example, British Airways operated flights to SEL from LHR and Continental Micronesia operated flights to SEL from GUM and SPN, etc, etc, etc... Is ICN considered to be a low-yield market by airline standards??? Will we ever see BA or CO, and others return to this city??? What are your thoughts on ICN???
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mats
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Fri Sep 07, 2007 8:58 pm

I'm surprised that there isn't a Newark-Seoul flight either on Korean or Continental. Given their SkyTeam partnership, it seems reasonable. But I'm sure that Continental has thought about it, and that they are making more money using their aircraft elsewhere.
 
HB-IWC
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:11 pm

Swissair also used to operate thrice weekly MD11 flights into Kimpo before suspending this operation altogether in 1997 because of the Asian monetary crisis. I don't believe Swiss is likely to return to Seoul any time soon, given Lufthansa's recent expansion there from its Munich gateway.
 
B747-4U3
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:09 pm

There were some rumours floating around a.net that BA might return to Seoul. Given the fact that Korea is becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination and it is already quite strong as a business destination I think this could be a potentially lucrative route with good loads in first, business and economy. As far a I know will be the only oneworld service from Europe to Korea.

It just depends how well BA can compete with 5 weekly Asiana 777s and a daily Korean 744.
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:03 pm

a lot of carriers pulled out of Korea around the time of the huge devaluation in the Won a few years ago , NZ,QF,BA were just a few that spring to mind . Bear in mind that Korea has two home based airlines , one in each of the two largest alliances (OZ in Star and KE in Skyteam ) and that these airlines with many of their costs in Won can probably serve Korea more cost effectively than their partners can ( although of course both Star and Skyteam do have other carriers serving Korea )

To the best of my knowledge only two Oneworld carriers , JL and CX currently serve the Korean market with their own metal, without a local partner it would probably be harder for BA to get ICN services up and running at a reasonable combination of frequency and yield and I doubt we will see them back there any time soon ..... but of course , in this industry you should never say "never!"
 
FlySSC
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:53 am

BA, SR stopped serving SEL during the financial crisis in Asia in the early 2000s.
At the same period, Air France increased it frequencies to SEL and increased significantly its market shares.
Flights were later transferred to ICN when the new airport opened and ICN is now served DAILY by AF from CDG with a B77W, so ICN is definately not a "low yield" market. The route is actually very profitable for AF.


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Siege2L
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:37 am

Quoting Mats (Reply 1):
I'm surprised that there isn't a Newark-Seoul flight either on Korean or Continental

I have always wondered this... who really wants to leave from JFK?

Quoting HB-IWC (Reply 2):
Swissair also used to operate thrice weekly MD11 flights into Kimpo

Yes, the flight was Zurich - Bombay - Hong Kong - Seoul - v.v. sometimes switched to 747-300.

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 3):
There were some rumours floating around a.net that BA might return to Seoul

They are supposed to be The World's Favourite Airline!!! Their Club World & First Class is very nice ( in my personal experience ) so I believe BA can compete with OZ & KE to ICN.

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 5):
At the same period, Air France increased it frequencies to SEL and increased significantly its market shares.

AF never ceases to amaze me!!!  Smile
Flying higher than over your dreams...
 
B747-4U3
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:58 am

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 4):
without a local partner it would probably be harder for BA to get ICN services up and running at a reasonable combination of frequency and yield

Fair point, but many BA routes have no "partner" at the other end. What about Singapore, Bangkok and Dubai, just to name a few. What about Korean's flight do London? Apart from other Skyteam airlines serving Heathrow, what partners do they have? BA is in the same position, only the other way around. They have excellent connections throughout Europe, but not at the other end. In any case, I believe they have an interline agreement with KE and OZ.

It is also interesting to note, that KE serves London 7 times per week, the same as their Skyteam hub in Paris. Asiana also serve London 4 times per week, the same as their Star hub at Frankfurt. If these two airlines can operate as many flights to London as to their alliance hubs in Europe, I am sure there is room for BA to run from their Heathrow hub to Seoul. The fact that Asiana seems to be doing well on the route despite only 4 weekly frequencies also works in BA's favour as it means they could begin with offering only 4 or 5 weekly frequencies but still provide a competative service.
 
Norcal773
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:59 am

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 3):
Given the fact that Korea is becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination

Nothing against Korea at all but who in their right mind goes to Korea on vacation? I've been there six times and haven't seen anything worth coming back for, vacation-wise. Try visiting any other Asian tourist destination and they're all full of Koreans because they cannot find a decent place to vacation in in their own country. No offense by the way.
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Siege2L
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:07 am

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 8):
Nothing against Korea at all but who in their right mind goes to Korea on vacation? I've been there six times and haven't seen anything worth coming back for, vacation-wise.

Families and scenery. The architecture in the countryside is exquisite. There are 24 weekly nonstop departures LAX - ICN on KE ( with We, Fr, Su, operating 4x nonstop ). I also think it is the delicious food!!!!!!!! And stay at the Hyatt Regency Incheon - I highly recommend this place!!!  Smile
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B747-4U3
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:19 am

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 8):
Nothing against Korea at all but who in their right mind goes to Korea on vacation? I've been there six times and haven't seen anything worth coming back for, vacation-wise. Try visiting any other Asian tourist destination and they're all full of Koreans because they cannot find a decent place to vacation in in their own country. No offense by the way.

Well, it depends on what sort of person you are. If you are looking for a tropical beach, you're better off in Indonesia or the Philippines.

If however, you are like me, and like cities then Korea is excellent. Seoul is the 2nd largest metropolitan area in the world. It has excellent cuisine, plenty of sights, both historic and modern, and best of all is absolutely fantastic for shopping. Indeed, Seoul has everything that Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore and Shanghai have.

It also have some of the most fantastic mountain scenery in the world.
 
Norcal773
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:43 am

Quoting Siege2L (Reply 9):
And stay at the Hyatt Regency Incheon - I highly recommend this place!!!

Great hotel, especially for spotting. But the city (Seoul) is 2 hours away.

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 10):

I guess you are right. I am more into different kind of 'tourism' I guess. You cannot compare Seoul with Singapore and Tokyo though, no way. The food is Korea is great for sure though. As for shopping, it's ridiculously expensive. Per a recent report, Seoul is the most expensive city in the world.
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
Siege2L
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 3:53 am

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 11):
Great hotel, especially for spotting. But the city (Seoul) is 2 hours away.

Very true. I recommend you or any traveller to stay at this hotel on the day you arrive at ICN and the day before you depart ICN. I really dread a long flight to ICN and then having to commute 2 hours into Seoul. I want my bed and I want it NOW! For the departure, I like the Hyatt Regency Incheon because planning your commute to allow time for traffic on the way to the airport is now non-existant. I check in, enjoy a room service dinner, sleep, rise, fitness center, leisurely breakfast, shower, pack, check out. The day of departure is flawless.
Flying higher than over your dreams...
 
Norcal773
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:05 am

Quoting Siege2L (Reply 12):
Very true. I recommend you or any traveller to stay at this hotel on the day you arrive at ICN and the day before you depart ICN. I really dread a long flight to ICN and then having to commute 2 hours into Seoul. I want my bed and I want it NOW! For the departure, I like the Hyatt Regency Incheon because planning your commute to allow time for traffic on the way to the airport is now non-existant. I check in, enjoy a room service dinner, sleep, rise, fitness center, leisurely breakfast, shower, pack, check out. The day of departure is flawless.

I work in Manila and since I fly OZ a lot, the connection times suck on the MNL-ICN-SFO route in that you gotta stay at ICN for 11 hours. OZ offers some crappy hotels near the airport but a few times I've opted to pay for myself or use my Hyatt Gold Passport points to stay at the Hyatt. It is a great hotel with a great view of the Airport.

As for OZ, they are a great airline and very underrated. I'd put them right up there with SQ if their FA's can speak better english...or as good looking (lol) but service wise they are AWESOME.
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
Siege2L
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:13 am

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 13):
I work in Manila and since I fly OZ

I have flown OZ JFK-ICN and the entire staff are quite charming!!! I try to be very loyal to Skyteam, so I am stuck with sometimes snobbish F/A's on KE. The staff has their Gianfranco Ferre uniforms and now they are the bitter salespeople of Rodeo Drive in the sky! lol!

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 13):
As for OZ, they are a great airline and very underrated. I'd put them right up there with SQ if their FA's can speak better english...or as good looking (lol) but service wise they are AWESOME.

Yes, ( SQ ) a great way to fly!

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 13):
OZ offers some crappy hotels near the airport

Not as bad as visiting my mother's uber-conservative home in Seoul, I bet!! lol!! Why do you think I enjoy those 2 coveted nights @ Hyatt Regency??? To this day, she never knows I have 2 extra nights in Seoul  biggrin 
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yellowtail
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:26 am

Quoting Siege2L (Reply 6):
AF never ceases to amaze me!!!  

FWIW..I belive the management of AF is excellent and very forward thinking....they are always proactive not reactive and for the most part make excellent decisions.....for example...despite immense pressure to choose Airbus...they chose to order the 777 and now it looks like a brilliant move.

AF plans long term....sticking on routes to try to give them time to develop....
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
Norcal773
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:33 am

Quoting Siege2L (Reply 14):
I have flown OZ JFK-ICN and the entire staff are quite charming!!! I try to be very loyal to Skyteam, so I am stuck with sometimes snobbish F/A's on KE. The staff has their Gianfranco Ferre uniforms and now they are the bitter salespeople of Rodeo Drive in the sky! lol!

 rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 

I've never flown KE but I do wanna try them someday. I believe OZ uses the 744 JFK-ICN. I hear their interiors are quite old but the 772ER they fly to SFO has a great lie-flat seat in J class. They also happen to be cheaper than the likes of UA and KE.

Quoting Siege2L (Reply 14):
Yes, ( SQ ) a great way to fly!

I have flown SQ twice SFO-ICN-SIN-MNL and back which adds a good 14 hours to the travel time as compared to flying any other airline. The Singapore girls are worth it for me and you're right, SQ is a great way to fly, especially on the 777-300 ER J class.  biggrin 

Quoting Siege2L (Reply 14):
Not as bad as visiting my mother's uber-conservative home in Seoul, I bet!! lol!! Why do you think I enjoy those 2 coveted nights @ Hyatt Regency??? To this day, she never knows I have 2 extra nights in Seoul

LOL, I hear you brother.
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Siege2L
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:36 am

Quoting Yellowtail (Reply 15):
I belive the management of AF is excellent and very forward thinking



Quoting Yellowtail (Reply 15):
AF plans long term....sticking on routes to try to give them time to develop....

Yes, I agree. If other airlines could follow suit and plan for the long-haul and not short-term immediate results. Planning for the future. J'adior Air France!!!
Flying higher than over your dreams...
 
bastew
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:41 am

ICN is constantly rumoured to be the 'next new route' at BA. I think once our new aircraft begin to be delivered we could see a return to both seoul and KL.
 
Siege2L
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:44 am

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 16):
I believe OZ uses the 744 JFK-ICN

You are right about 744 on this route... the interior is not as bad as they seem. Service makes up for it!!!

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 16):
especially on the 777-300 ER J class.   

Bring the SQ's 777-300 to LAX. Only then I will cheat on Skyteam ( again ) to try P and J class. Yes, I cheat.
 angel 
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Cubsrule
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:50 am

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 7):
It is also interesting to note, that KE serves London 7 times per week, the same as their Skyteam hub in Paris. Asiana also serve London 4 times per week, the same as their Star hub at Frankfurt. If these two airlines can operate as many flights to London as to their alliance hubs in Europe, I am sure there is room for BA to run from their Heathrow hub to Seoul.

One problem for BA is that LHR isn't really a convenient hub from which to connect to ICN. OZ and KE (and partners) cover the U.S. more than well enough that no one is going to fly east from the States to go to Korea, and being located on the far west edge of Europe doesn't help. OTOH, AF makes it work...
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Norcal773
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:56 am

Quoting Siege2L (Reply 19):
Bring the SQ's 777-300 to LAX.

I thought they already are flying it to LAX! I do cheat on Star Alliance too but rarely.
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
Siege2L
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:57 am

Quoting BAStew (Reply 18):
ICN is constantly rumoured to be the 'next new route' at BA.

Love the new BA commercial!!! Upgrade to British Airways! ( Yes, I am cheating on Skyteam again )  Smile
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Siege2L
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:06 am

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 21):
I thought they already are flying it to LAX!

As of September, SQ LAX - TPE is 777-200 // SQ LAX - NRT is 747-400 // SQ LAX - SIN is 340-500. But mark my words, THE MINUTE SQ announces 777-300 service, I will book immediately and try this amazing flight!  Smile
Flying higher than over your dreams...
 
Norcal773
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:11 am

Quoting Siege2L (Reply 23):
THE MINUTE SQ announces 777-300 service, I will book immediately and try this amazing flight!

I was so sure I read somewhere that they're already sending it to LAX. Connect in SFO, better airport.  duck 

I am flying their 77W again in Dec when I go home for my Xmas break and back to MNL and I can't wait. Those seats are WIDE!
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
Siege2L
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:18 am

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 24):
Connect in SFO

I visited San Francisco for the very first time over Labor Day weekend last week and had an amazing time!!! My hotel reservation was for 3 nights, but only slept in my hotel only 1 of those nights!!! Escandalo!!! I just might plan a mini-break to SFO before departing for SIN on SQ... but hangovers are really bad on long flights!
 drunk 
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Norcal773
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:47 pm

Quoting Siege2L (Reply 25):

San Francisco is a great city, the greatest if you ask me. I was born in San Francisco but never really lived there much and I love it to this day.

Quoting Siege2L (Reply 25):
but hangovers are really bad on long flights!

That's why they have Benadril. My home is in Sacramento and I normally drive down to SFO on the nights before my departure to Asia and party the night before I head out. Can't remember the last time I boarded a plane in SFO without a hangover, and it works great for me coz then I am comatose 10 out of the 12 hours to ICN. I did fly sober though when I flew SQ coz I was soo excited.  biggrin 
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
UpperDeck79
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:14 am

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 4):
To the best of my knowledge only two Oneworld carriers , JL and CX currently serve the Korean market with their own metal, without a local partner it would probably be harder for BA to get ICN services up and running at a reasonable combination of frequency and yield and I doubt we will see them back there any time soon ..... but of course , in this industry you should never say "never!"

AY begins HEL-ICN-HEL route 5 times per week in June with the brand-new A340-300Es!
AY and ANA rock!
 
OO-VEG
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:30 am

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 5):
and ICN is now served DAILY by AF from CDG with a B77W, so ICN is definately not a "low yield" market. The route is actually very profitable for AF.

Flying ICN-CDG with AF I noticed 2 interesting things.
1. The B777-200 was almost full.
2. I was one of a handfull of passengers not being Korean.

Seoul area is one of the worlds largest metropolitan area's with about 22mln inhabitants. But the mayority of passengers is by far Korean, there are not many foreigners around. So that may explain why Korean Air and Asiana make this place so big. IMO Koreans like their own national products a lot as they are very proud of it.

AF has Korean as partner in SkyTeam so they make an excellent benefit by code-sharing with Korean. Asian carriers will have their flights here, but for Europe and North-America I think it's a bit of a challenge to establish yourself here.
 
B747-4U3
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:42 am

Quoting OO-VEG (Reply 28):
IMO Koreans like their own national products a lot as they are very proud of it.

AF has Korean as partner in SkyTeam so they make an excellent benefit by code-sharing with Korean. Asian carriers will have their flights here, but for Europe and North-America I think it's a bit of a challenge to establish yourself here.

Yes, Koreans do seem to be very proud of their national products, and yes, that will make it a challenge for any foreign airlines who wanr to set up shop in Seoul. However, it does not make it impossible. For example the Japenese, like the Koreans like their own products. British Caledonian had trouble entering the Japanese market in 1987, and had to work hard to try and get Japanese customers on board. Now, British Airways have more flights to Tokyo than Japan's two home grown airlines, JAL and ANA. If the service, frequency, connections and price are right there should be little trouble entering the market.
 
OO-VEG
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:17 am

Looking at the carriers operating at ICN:

Europe:
Aeroflot
Air France
KLM
Lufthansa
Turkish Airlines
Several other Russian carriers like S7 are flying to ICN as well, but I think these fly to East-Russia (Vladivostok/Irkutsk etc.)

North-America:
Air Canada
Delta
Northwest
United
Plus several cargo airlines.


So that makes 5 carriers from Europe, 4 from North-America. 0 from Latin America & Africa & Australia/NZ. Middle-East (if you want to, go ahead and put THY in here) and Asia are well represented.

From what you can see here, SkyTeam is really well represented with KL/AF/NWA/DL on the airport. There are some carriers represented, but it's a bit mediocre. Then again, market is not that easy so that may explain why alliances leave it up to Korean and Asiana.
 
carledwards
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:17 am

Quoting Siege2L (Thread starter):
Will we ever see BA or CO, and others return to this city???

I have not seen any BA expansion back to Asia for a very long time, which is such a shame for a national flag carrier, to never expand to new places. I think SEL was dropped when KUL was. Both are relatively big markets to the UK with little competition, yet BA seems to think they can not make money on these routes?

LON-KUL likewise, is an extremely underserved market from the UK. Maybe the likes of Air Asia X can spruce this up? At present MH is the only airline to operate this non stop.
Extraordinary World
 
OO-VEG
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:21 am

Quoting Carledwards (Reply 31):
I have not seen any BA expansion back to Asia for a very long time, which is such a shame for a national flag carrier, to never expand to new places.

Maybe it's because of LHR? Could it be we can only expect new long-haul expansion after T5 opening? KUL and ICN are surely 2 destinations BA could easily serve imo.
 
carledwards
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:51 am

Quoting OO-VEG (Reply 32):
Maybe it's because of LHR? Could it be we can only expect new long-haul expansion after T5 opening? KUL and ICN are surely 2 destinations BA could easily serve imo.

yes i agree, this definately could be a factor. Although as soon as the open skies agreement with the US was signed, BA jumped at the chance to move their remaining US services based at Gatwick up to LHR. Although in reality this is now not going to happen until T5 opens. Hopefully then we wil see some more expansion then. BA seems to look after and have more faith in its US routes than its Asia Pacific ones though, like the downgrading of its SYD services to a 777, which seems very silly.
Extraordinary World
 
777fan
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:02 am

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 8):
Nothing against Korea at all but who in their right mind goes to Korea on vacation? I've



Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 8):
Try visiting any other Asian tourist destination and they're all full of Koreans because they cannot find a decent place to vacation in in their own country. No offense by the way.



Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 10):
. If you are looking for a tropical beach, you're better off in Indonesia or the Philippines.

I'm sure that no one took offense (sarcasm intended). You'd be surprised to hear that a lot of people actually visit Korea for matters other than business. I suppose the word "vacation" needs to be defined in this context. Seoul doesn't have beaches but neither does Beijing, Tokyo, etc. Korea has plenty to offer to include beaches - head to Haeundae Beach in Pusan or anywhere on Cheju Island if that's your style. There's plenty else to see - perhaps you didn't look hard enough.

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 13):
I work in Manila and since I fly OZ a lot, the connection times suck on the MNL-ICN-SFO route in that you gotta stay at ICN for 11 hours

Try the Walker Hill (Sheraton) in-terminal hotel (T2, I believe). They have rooms by the hour for just that reason.


777fan
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articulatexpat
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:10 am

Quoting Siege2L (Thread starter):
I have noticed over the years Seoul ( SEL - Kimpo ), not ICN, had encountered a disruption of services from international flying ( before ICN opened ). For example, British Airways operated flights to SEL from LHR and Continental Micronesia operated flights to SEL from GUM and SPN, etc, etc, etc... Is ICN considered to be a low-yield market by airline standards??? Will we ever see BA or CO, and others return to this city??? What are your thoughts on ICN???

Since I've been here -- going on 2 1/2 years now -- I've heard repeatedly that the financial crisis of 1997 and then SARS wiped out a lot of Seoul's international flights. There's decent coverage from ICN to the rest of the world but it could be better. The Korean government wants Seoul to be a gateway and there's real potential, but it's still in the shadow of HKG, SIN, BKK, and NRT... and, increasingly, PEK and PVG. As the Korean economy continues to grow, more airlines will return. I think Korea's recent acceptance into the US visa waiver program (allowing South Koreans to enter the US without needing visas) will bring increased traffic, as well.

In terms of flights to Europe, remember ICN also has service from Emirates and Qatar Airways. KE's insanely expensive to fly out of Korea. OZ tends to be much cheaper. But the Middle Eastern and Taiwanese carriers usually have much better fares. Even the Asian majors like CX and SQ sometimes offer surprisingly good fares and great connections. BA would do well, I think, but there's competition at all levels.

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 4):
To the best of my knowledge only two Oneworld carriers , JL and CX currently serve the Korean market with their own metal, without a local partner it would probably be harder for BA to get ICN services up and running at a reasonable combination of frequency and yield and I doubt we will see them back there any time soon ..... but of course , in this industry you should never say "never!"

Dragonair flies to Busan.

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 8):
Nothing against Korea at all but who in their right mind goes to Korea on vacation? I've been there six times and haven't seen anything worth coming back for, vacation-wise. Try visiting any other Asian tourist destination and they're all full of Koreans because they cannot find a decent place to vacation in in their own country. No offense by the way

Tourism here is thriving, but most of the tourists are Asian; Westerners don't come here much except on business. The Korean Wave of movies, TV dramas, and music has brought a lot of attention to Korea from around the region.

The packs of Korean tourists around Asia (and Europe and the Middle East and Australia) have resulted from the country's airtight insularity and newfound wealth. Suddenly Koreans have the money to travel -- this is a relatively new state of affairs -- and they're doing it.

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 10):
best of all is absolutely fantastic for shopping. Indeed, Seoul has everything that Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore and Shanghai have

I'm sorry, but no. Seoul has its funky charms and is worth a visit... but shopping is not one of them. There are a few strengths, like cool artisanal doodads from Insadong or IT gizmos from Yongsan. If you want to shop, go to any of those other cities you just named, or Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.

Quoting OO-VEG (Reply 28):
So that may explain why Korean Air and Asiana make this place so big. IMO Koreans like their own national products a lot as they are very proud of it.

It's also not the friendliest business climate for foreign investment.

Quoting Carledwards (Reply 31):
LON-KUL likewise, is an extremely underserved market from the UK. Maybe the likes of Air Asia X can spruce this up? At present MH is the only airline to operate this non stop.

The sooner Air Asia X starts flying to Korea (they've named Cheongju and Busan among their intended cities) the better! I may or may not still be here then, but they'll be more than welcome in this overpriced (and overtaxed) market!
 
OO-VEG
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:59 pm

Quoting Articulatexpat (Reply 35):
Dragonair flies to Busan.

Busan is not really in the catchement area of ICN. It's 4hr ride. Maybe Dragonair could open a SEL route, or BA starts operating on a triangle route?

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 8):
Nothing against Korea at all but who in their right mind goes to Korea on vacation? I've been there six times and haven't seen anything worth coming back for, vacation-wise.

I agree with you Korea has nothing to add if you are into palmbeaches. For your regular beach & party vacation Korea is not a good option.
But for the rest this country has enough to offer. Culture, Nature, hiking, climbing, big cities, a bit of history, very good food. I have been surprised by Korea.
 
sparkingwave
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:16 pm

Quoting Articulatexpat (Reply 35):
I've heard repeatedly that the financial crisis of 1997 and then SARS wiped out a lot of Seoul's international flights

You're correct about the 97 financial crisis but mistaken about SARS. SARS did not "wipe out" many flights from Seoul, at least certainly not to the extent of other airlines with hubs in the most SARS-afflicted Asian cities. In fact, the Korean government immediately reacted to SARS by enforcing strict inspections and frequent disinfection of aircraft at ICN, preventing the disease from getting a toehold in Korea.
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B747-4U3
Posts: 617
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:27 pm

Quoting 777fan (Reply 34):
Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 10):
. If you are looking for a tropical beach, you're better off in Indonesia or the Philippines.

I'm sure that no one took offense (sarcasm intended). You'd be surprised to hear that a lot of people actually visit Korea for matters other than business. I suppose the word "vacation" needs to be defined in this context. Seoul doesn't have beaches but neither does Beijing, Tokyo, etc. Korea has plenty to offer to include beaches - head to Haeundae Beach in Pusan or anywhere on Cheju Island if that's your style. There's plenty else to see - perhaps you didn't look hard enough.

I don't like the way you have taken my sentence out of context and seem to be making criticisms of that sentence based upon the lack of context.

I have been to Korea on matters other than business and absolutely loved it, and that is why I have returned there several times on matters other than business. If you read my post carefully you would see that I said that Seoul has everything that Beijing and Tokyo have and therefore was not trying to negatively compare Seoul to any of the other major Asian centres. I also stated that Korea has some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the world. I'm offended that you have said "There's plenty else to see - perhaps you didn't look hard enough" when it is quite clear from my post that I do like Korea, particuarly Seoul, I have noted the fact that many people, including myyself, have been there on vacation and have also noted that there is more than business to do there. I do however stand by my opinion that Korea's beaches aren't as good as the ones in Indonesia or the Philippines. I am not a big beach fan, but when I do go to beaches I like the tropical, roasting at 30 degrees ones, which with the exception of a few days of the year, can't be found in Korea.

Quoting Articulatexpat (Reply 35):
In terms of flights to Europe, remember ICN also has service from Emirates and Qatar Airways. KE's insanely expensive to fly out of Korea. OZ tends to be much cheaper. But the Middle Eastern and Taiwanese carriers usually have much better fares. Even the Asian majors like CX and SQ sometimes offer surprisingly good fares and great connections. BA would do well, I think, but there's competition at all levels.

I think BA would do well. Current fares from ICN to Europe are often significantly higher than those to Bangkok, KL, Singapore and Hong Kong. Non-stop flights to Singapore can be had for £400 return with BA. I have not seen a non-stop flight from the UK to Korea for less than £600, even though the flying time is 2hrs less. In addition to that, Emirates and Qatar Airways only provide limited competition on the Seoul-->Europe runs as routing via the Middle East is actually heading significantly off of the non-stop routing.

Quoting Articulatexpat (Reply 35):
I'm sorry, but no. Seoul has its funky charms and is worth a visit... but shopping is not one of them. There are a few strengths, like cool artisanal doodads from Insadong or IT gizmos from Yongsan. If you want to shop, go to any of those other cities you just named, or Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.

For me, I find Seoul is the 2nd best city in Asia for shopping after Hong Kong. I find Bangkok and Singapore to be some of the worst. There just seems to be nothing there I want to buy.
 
B747-4U3
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:37 pm

Quoting Carledwards (Reply 31):
I have not seen any BA expansion back to Asia for a very long time, which is such a shame for a national flag carrier, to never expand to new places. I think SEL was dropped when KUL was. Both are relatively big markets to the UK with little competition, yet BA seems to think they can not make money on these routes?

I not 100%, but I think Seoul was dropped back in 1998 because of the Asian Economic Crisis which hit Korea particuarly hard. Back during the SARS crisis BA flights to Beijing routed via Seoul. I don't know if they had traffic rights on the route.

Kualu Lumpur I think managed to linger on until 2000. I think BA leaving Kuala Lumpur had a lot to do with Qantas pulling out of KUL.
 
777fan
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:23 pm

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 38):
I don't like the way you have taken my sentence out of context and seem to be making criticisms of that sentence based upon the lack of context.

If you reread my post, I attempted to respond to three comments at once. The comments in questions were directed at Norcal773 (below). My apologies if this upset you.

777fan

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 8):
Nothing against Korea at all but who in their right mind goes to Korea on vacation? I've been there six times and haven't seen anything worth coming back for, vacation-wise. Try visiting any other Asian tourist destination and they're all full of Koreans because they cannot find a decent place to vacation in in their own country. No offense by the way.
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Norcal773
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:31 pm

Quoting Carledwards (Reply 31):
I think SEL was dropped when KUL was

Talking of SEL, some airlines still show ICN as SEL, e.g. SQ. This might have been an error of some sort but I flew them once and the PTV remote control showed '8 hours to SEL'.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 34):
Try the Walker Hill (Sheraton) in-terminal hotel (T2, I believe). They have rooms by the hour for just that reason.

I like getting out of the airport at least reason I've never tried the hotel airport. I think that's more for 4-5 hour layovers but not 12.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 34):
There's plenty else to see - perhaps you didn't look hard enough.

Perhaps I didn't but I guess we're all entitled to our own opinions.

Quoting Articulatexpat (Reply 35):
but shopping is not one of them

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Quoting OO-VEG (Reply 36):
But for the rest this country has enough to offer. Culture, Nature, hiking, climbing, big cities, a bit of history, very good food. I have been surprised by Korea.

I guess I do need to give it another shot. I've only visited Seoul outside of Incheon.

Quoting Articulatexpat (Reply 35):
It's also not the friendliest business climate for foreign investment.

I also don't find Koreans to be very friendly although that really doesn't make much of a difference. At least not as friendly as the people in the Philippines, Singapore and Tokyo.

I do think OZ and KE have done a good job of not isolating non-Korean passengers like JL has. Every time I fly JL, I get the feeling they concentrate more on attracting Japanese passengers and don't give much effort to non-Japanese customers. Again, that's just my opinion.
If you're going through hell, keep going
 
Siege2L
Topic Author
Posts: 114
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:36 pm

I do realize the Asian Economic Crisis had made a severe impact in Korea, but that was some time ago. Lufthansa now has a nonstop ICN - BUS from Germany. Swissair once had a ZRH - BOM - HKG - SEL many years ago. Could BA offer a LHR - HKG - ICN ( with local traffic rights between HKG - ICN ?? BA could take less of a risk operating through HKG or PEK enroute to ICN. Ground staff at ICN can be handled by CX or AY if need be. As Koreans are proud to use their respective flag carriers, the same would apply to the British, no??

On a side note, for those who love golf, Korea is excellent; whilst beach travellers can fly to Cheju Island. I have a friend who is a PNC/flight crew for AF and he loves to go to ICN - he loves the countryside and these areas are quite peaceful. ( He flies mainly Asia flights with AF, but ICN continues to be his favorite. ) Just thought you all would like to know.

Alternatively, do you think the situation in North Korea has impacted travel to the South???

Finally, if one decides to fly to ICN in Economy Class on KE, Korean Air consistently wins the Mercury Award for best catering in Economy Class!!!  Smile
Flying higher than over your dreams...
 
OO-VEG
Posts: 1250
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:49 pm

Quoting Siege2L (Reply 42):
Alternatively, do you think the situation in North Korea has impacted travel to the South???

That situation has been there for over 50 years now, the only impact it probably causes is airlines don't fly over North-Korean airspace. Since ICN is pretty close to the border with North-Korea that involves a small detour when going to Europe. I think the US flights also need to fly a little bit different.

When the situation with North-Korea will improve however it may mean an extra boost for the Korean industry, which is already booming. I don't think reasons for economic crisis can be used for South-Korea, some of the worlds largest businesses are Korean nowadays.

How would the market be for a European/US service from Busan? I think 1 airline to each continent might be able to operate on a profit on such route given it's a big business city and has a very large seaport.
 
B747-4U3
Posts: 617
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:50 pm

Quoting Siege2L (Reply 42):
Could BA offer a LHR - HKG - ICN ( with local traffic rights between HKG - ICN ?? BA could take less of a risk operating through HKG or PEK enroute to ICN. Ground staff at ICN can be handled by CX or AY if need be. As Koreans are proud to use their respective flag carriers, the same would apply to the British, no??

The trouble is with offering a one stop flight to Seoul via HKG is it would then be a 12hr flight plus a 4 hr flight instead of just an 11hr flight. That would essentially then put them in direct competition with the likes of Emirates and Qatar Airways who offer one stop flights via the Middle East (a 7hr flight to Dubai and then 9hrs onto Seoul). It would still be quicker to transit via Frankfurt or Paris than go on a direct flight with BA via Hong Kong. They would also be competing with Cathay Pacific who offer 5 daily flights from Hong Kong to Seoul (I believe that several are actually codeshare with BA). The way BA flights to Hong Kong are at the moment, I suspect even if a 4th daily Hong Kong continuing to Seoul was added most of the capacity would be taken up with passengers just flying to Hong Kong, which would increase BA's reliance on the HKG-ICN leg, and because of the lack of frequency compared to Cathay, Korean and Asiana on that leg they would have to discount heavily which would impact profitability. It also goes against BA's unofficial policy of operating no tag-ons (I believe some of the Carribean holiday routes have tags, a few in the Middle East, Buenos Aires and Rio plus Australia- through necessity and therefore they don't really qualify as tag-ons). Even were tags are operated, with the exception of Buenos Aires they are all under one hour. HKG to ICN is 3hrs30 to 4hrs which again questions the economic viability of that.

Peking would be a better option as it isn't that far from the direct Korea-UK routes, however, it again goes against what most BA premium passengers want- non-stop flights to their final destination. If the route did go via Peking could they still attrack all of the premium passengers they need to sustain the route, especially considering Asiana and Korean both have frequent non-stop flights?


I wouldn't say Britain's are necessarily proud of using their own national carrier. I think there are a large group of people who will pay more to fly with British Airways because of the perception of it providing a better service, but I wouldn't say it is because it is British.
 
COEWRNJ
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:11 am

Didn't KE fly to EWR a few day per week prior to either 9/11 or before the SARS outbreak? I recall seeing their 744's at Terminal B.
 
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centrair
Posts: 2900
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:46 am

ICN is slowly becoming a major regional hub.

When the great Hanshin earthquake hit Japan, a lot of ship cargo was moved to Korea. Major air cargo also moved. Lots of it didn't return. Korea has been working very hard in the shadow of Japan and China to make superior technology. Best Plasma TV? From Korea. Most of the technology for mobile phones...being developed by Samsung. Hyundai has been growing nicely. There are other industries and businesses on the rise. Korea is really coming into its own.

ICN's landing fees are far below Japanese airports and so it is not a hole in the pocket. If an airline can serve ICN with the right-sized aircraft, then they are bound to do well. This is what KE does. They start small, build name recognition, and expand. Anyone realize that KE serves more destinations World Wide (international market) than any other carrier? If you took the international networks of all major carriers, KE would be at the top.

If BA were to use a 772ER, they could get in. They can probably have some kind of an agreement with KE or OZ for domestic sharing to BUS or Jeju. I mean, KE and JL codeshare on many Japan-Korea flights but are in other alliances.

BA is rumored to be returning to Korea. It is rumored that one of NW's 787 routes will be DTW-ICN. Bringing them back as a Non-stop. AA has looked at Korea (but is more interested in China). CO is looking also with 787s. I would not be surprised if Jetstar comes in or QF returns. EK would also be a candidate for expansion.

As a whole if you look at Seoul, Osaka and Nagoya, they were all deeply effected by SARs and economic problems. Japan also had the ripple effect of the Hanshin Earthquake. We are all still recovering. NGO used to have DL, AF and KL. We even had BA for a short time, but it was so short that it didn't work.

The 787 is the key for opening up Europe-Asia routes. The smallest aircraft that can be used now is a 772 or A343. The A332 can make Europe-Korea but their might be major restrictions.
My name is Centrair but HND is closer. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
articulatexpat
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:01 pm

RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:18 pm

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 41):
I've only visited Seoul outside of Incheon

No wonder. Incheon has a couple of attractive areas but overall it's a case study in urban blight and anonymous highrise apartment boxes.

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 41):
I also don't find Koreans to be very friendly although that really doesn't make much of a difference. At least not as friendly as the people in the Philippines, Singapore and Tokyo.

As a people, I find them more reserved than anyone else in the region. It can take time. On the other hand, I've occasionally been left breathless by the willingness to go above and beyond, sometimes for and from complete strangers.

Quoting Norcal773 (Reply 41):
I do think OZ and KE have done a good job of not isolating non-Korean passengers like JL has. Every time I fly JL, I get the feeling they concentrate more on attracting Japanese passengers and don't give much effort to non-Japanese customers. Again, that's just my opinion.

Although I like JL a lot, I'd agree with this. Among other things, the FAs on OZ and KE speak good English, are attentive without hovering, and don't panic if you order the Korean-style dish instead of the Western dish. This has happened on JL.

Quoting OO-VEG (Reply 43):
That situation has been there for over 50 years now, the only impact it probably causes is airlines don't fly over North-Korean airspace. Since ICN is pretty close to the border with North-Korea that involves a small detour when going to Europe. I think the US flights also need to fly a little bit different.

Last time I did it (UA nonstop from SFO), we flew to Japan and turned west; I assumed it was to avoid Russian and North Korean airspace.
 
Siege2L
Topic Author
Posts: 114
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:21 pm

Some years ago, UA used to have a nonstop from EWR - NRT or ICN?? I cannot remember which destination, but there was a nonstop Trans-Pacific flight from Newark. I also think there was a B744 service on KE nonstop. I cannot find record of this, however.
Flying higher than over your dreams...
 
swissgabe
Posts: 5148
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RE: Suspended Flights To Seoul

Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:35 pm

Quoting Siege2L (Reply 6):
Yes, the flight was Zurich - Bombay - Hong Kong - Seoul - v.v. sometimes switched to 747-300.

Wasn't that flight at some time a PEK extension before SHA came online with SR? I don't remember M11 flying to SEL and afaik the flight was never routed ZRH-BOM-HKG-SEL, but definitively 743s.
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