Korea’s low cost carriers (LCC) are rushing to suspend or reduce Japan-bound flights as Koreans’ boycott of Japanese goods and tourism is intensifying.
Air Seoul announced on Aug. 13 that it would adjust services on five Japan-bound routes. It will suspend flights to three destinations -- Toyama, Kumamoto and Ube. The Toyama route will be suspended beginning on Sept. 16 and the remaining routes beginning on Oct. 27. The number of flights to Osaka and Yonago will be cut starting on Sept. 16.
Air Seoul also said that it was considering reducing or suspending flights to Sapporo (Chitose), Okinawa and Fukuoka.
Other Korean LCCs have already adjusted their services on Japanese routes. Jeju Air will cut flights from Incheon to Tokyo, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka and Okinawa; services from Muan to Tokyo and Osaka; and flights from Busan to Osaka and Fukuoka. Eastar Jet also decided to bring a halt to some of the routes to Japan from regional cities, while reducing flights from Incheon to Sapporo, Okinawa and Kagoshima.
Jin Air will prune flights to Japan from Incheon and Busan by Oct. 26. Air Busan will also stop Daegu-Narita flights and cut flights from Daegu to Osaka and Kitakyushu. The LLC will also shut down the Daegu-Kumamoto and Busan-Saga services after suspending the Busan-Oita service from Aug. 12.
Korean LCCs are expanding flights to China on routes they have secured through the Korea-China aviation talks back in March, in order to ease the impact of the suspended or reduced flights to Japan.