SEOUL, Oct. 27 (Korea Bizwire) – Air Busan Co., a South Korean budget carrier, said Friday it will add bigger planes to its fleet and build its own hangar in the next 10 years to meet growing demand for low-cost flights.
In its mid-term strategy, Air Busan plans to introduce midsize passenger jets with 300 to 400 seats after 2020 to serve on long-haul routes to destinations that include Hawaii, Australia and Europe, the company said in a statement.
Air Busan, the budget carrier unit of Asiana Airlines Inc., currently operates 15 A321-200 jets and six smaller A320-200s, all leased and with seats of up to 220. In 2020, it plans to bring in the A321-200 NEO, the statement said.
When a new airport opens in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province, in 2026, the company said it will build a 6,500-square-meter hangar for its planes.
Through the investments in planes and support facilities, Air Busan is targeting an operating profit of 170 billion won on sales of 1.7 trillion won in 2027, the statement said.
For the whole of 2016, its operating profit stood at 35.9 billion won on sales of 443 billion won.
Busan Metropolitan City and local businesses collectively own a 48.01 percent stake in Air Busan, followed by Asiana with a 46 percent stake and the remaining 5.99 percent held by Air Busan in the form of treasury stocks. Busan is a southern port city located 453 kilometers south of Seoul.
In the domestic market, Air Busan competes with five other budget carriers — Jeju Air, Jin Air, Air Seoul Inc., Eastar Jet and T’way Air Co. In 2016, the six carriers transported 57 percent of the passengers on domestic routes and 20 percent of passengers traveling abroad, according to the transport ministry.