SEOUL, Oct. 25 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s low-cost carriers are exploring new opportunities in the air cargo sector as a new income source, after long years of relying primarily on revenues from passenger transportation.
Jeju Air Co., the country’s leading budget carrier, introduced a cargo plane in June and launched cargo services starting with its Incheon-Hanoi route.
Thereafter, the airline has expanded flight routes and frequencies.
As of October, Jeju Air provides air freight flights to Hanoi six times a week, Tokyo four times a week and Yantai six times a week.
The airline’s cargo volume is also on an upward trend, rising from 242 tons in June to 920 tons in July, 952 tons in August, and 1,060 tons in September.
Another no-frills airline Jin Air Co. recently signed a general sales agency contract with logistics company Hanjin Transportation Co. as part of efforts to strengthen its presence in the global air cargo sector.
At present, the company transports around 300 tons of cargo per month to seven airports in five countries, including Japan and the Philippines.
The nation’s two full-service carriers — Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc. — converted some passenger jets into cargo planes during the COVID-19 pandemic period to tide over the decline in passenger demand.
In the meantime, some analysts have painted a dim future ahead for budget carriers’ cargo services, since air freight and traffic volume are on a declining trend.
J. S. Shin (email@example.com)