SEOUL, May 29 (Korea Bizwire) – Jin Air Co., the budget carrier unit of Korean Air Lines Co., said Monday the number of passengers it served has exceeded 30 million nearly nine years after it started operating.
Jin Air, launched in July 2008, became the second low-cost carrier (LCC) to reach the milestone after Jeju Air Co., which reported the achievement in January 2016.
The number shows that the airline has served an increasing number of passengers amid growing demand for low-cost travel on domestic and international routes.
In 2016, the country’s six budget carriers — Jin Air, Jeju Air, Air Busan Co., Air Seoul Inc., Easter Jet Co. and T’way Air Co. — transported 56.8 percent of passengers on domestic routes and 19.6 percent of passengers on international routes. The figures were up from 54.6 percent and 14.6 percent a year earlier, respectively, a Jin Air spokesman said.
Air Busan and Air Seoul are low-cost carrier units of Asiana Airlines Inc., the country’s second-biggest carrier by sales after Korean Air.
Last year, passengers on domestic routes jumped 11 percent on-year to 30.91 million and passengers on international routes climbed 19 percent to 73 million, according to data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation.
Industry watchers warned that growth of low-travel costs may not guarantee the safety of passengers as more budget carriers are expected to join the airline markets and compete with each other over prices.
They pointed out lower prices can lead to less investment in safety measures, which in turn could result in accidents.