SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — Asiana Airlines Inc., South Korea’s second-largest flag carrier, ranked first in passenger transportation for the Gimpo-Jeju Island route for the first time last year thanks to its efforts to expand the number of flights for customers using the most popular air travel itinerary here, industry data showed Tuesday.
According to the data by Korea Airports Corp., Asiana Airlines transported about 3.18 million passengers between Gimpo, west of Seoul, and the southernmost resort island of Jeju last year. The figure accounted for 22.9 percent of the total number of passengers traveling between the two areas.
Asiana Airlines rose to the top in the Gimpo-Jeju route by exceeding market leader Korean Air Lines Co., which flew 2.69 million passengers last year.
This marked the first time that Asiana Airlines outperformed Korean Air in the most popular air travel route. In 2013, Korean Air transported 2.54 million passengers between the two areas, compared with Asiana Airlines’ 2.44 million.
Asiana Airlines attributed its brisk performance to its active efforts in increasing the number of flights available for the route starting in late 2013.
The airliner operated 19,066 flights between the two areas last year, up from the previous year’s 15,538. Korean Air reduced the number of flights from 14,736 to 13,973 over the same period.
Korean Air explained that it is focusing on high-end long-distance flights for its passengers with its low-cost carrier unit, Jin Air Co., taking the lead for the domestic business.
The data showed that Jin Air came in third by flying 2.2 million passengers traveling between Gimpo and Jeju last year, followed by another low-cost carrier, Jeju Air, which transported 2.08 million customers.