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SK: Financial issues push budget carriers to cargo, long-haul flights

SK: Financial issues push budget carriers to cargo, long-haul flights
SK: Financial issues push budget carriers to cargo, long-haul flights

To navigate the financial difficulties caused by the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, South Korea’s low-cost carriers are reportedly turning to cargo planes as well as aircrafts for long-haul journeys and diversify their streams of revenue.

T'way Air, for example, is set to deploy Airbus A330-300 airplanes on Thursday, designed to carry over 300 passengers over long-haul journeys.

In March, the plane will start flying within the nation before heading out to longer journeys to destinations like Singapore, Croatia, Australia, as well as Kyrgyzstan.

T'way Air stated that it will be the South Korea’s first low-cost airline to introduce business class seats within the premium flatbeds to offer customers a comfortable and spacious flying experience to its customers.

Meanwhile, Jeju Air, South Korea's largest low-cost airline, will be the first among the South Korean budget airlines to operate a cargo jet.

For freight transport, the firm plans to use the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter, which the same aircraft model as the firm's passenger planes.

Air Premia, another South Korean low-cost carrier, has greatly benefited from its cargo shipping business, which saw over 281 metric tons of cargo shipments last month.

Last December, Air Premia also commenced international freight shipping, with its airplanes making regular trips from Incheon to Singapore.

Additionally, last month it also commenced cargo flight operations between Incheon and Ho Chi Minh City.

Air Premia stated that the company has stabilized its cargo transportation operations successfully since it is not only delivering many goods, but also delivering goods that are high-value commodities, like ship components, semiconductors, and duty-free items from luxury brands.

Air Premia will also begin conducting long-haul flights to Los Angeles in May, using the Boeing 787-9, which has a range of almost 15,000 kilometers one way.

Budget airlines are taking such steps in response to dwindling travel demand, as overseas travel has essentially ceased due to the pandemic.

Hwang Yong-sik, Sejong University's division of business administration professor, stated that it would take three to four years to say if these carriers will be successful in their attempt to find a breakthrough, but it also implies that they will have to deal with the mistakes that come with joining the logistics industry.

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Vinisha Joshi

Vinisha Joshi

Despite graduating with an engineering degree in electronics and communication, Vinisha Joshi chose the road less travelled, and decided to pursue her career in content writing . Currently, she pens down articles for and a few other distinguished news platforms, pertaining to business and finance.