South Korean airlines lay on more direct flights to Phu Quoc

October 23, 2023 | 18:11
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Following Korean Air's lead, two other South Korean airlines, Jeju Air and Jin Air, are set to launch direct flights from Seoul to Phu Quoc. This decision comes in response to the growing allure of Vietnam's largest island among South Korean tourists.
South Korean airlines lay on more direct flights to Phu Quoc

From October 29, Jeju Air will recommence its direct route from Seoul's Incheon Airport to Phu Quoc, departing at 20:35 local time and arriving at 12:50 the subsequent day. The return flights from Phu Quoc will take off at 01:50 and land in Incheon at 09:30 local time.

Jeju Air has the distinction of being the first South Korean airline to re-establish a direct connection to Phu Quoc after the pandemic. Industry insiders have noted Jeju Air's proactive stance, suggesting that it could potentially draw in a considerable number of passengers.

Before the pandemic, Jeju Air was also the first airline from South Korea to operate a route from Jeju Island directly to Phu Quoc.

Korea's national carrier, Korean Air, had previously unveiled its plan to operate a daily flight between Seoul and Phu Quoc starting from November 26. Flights are scheduled to leave Seoul at 15:45 local time, arriving in Phu Quoc at 19:50. The return journey departs Phu Quoc at 21:20, touching down in Incheon by 04:50 the next morning.

Jin Air, an affiliate of Korean Air, is also scheduled to begin daily operations from Seoul to Phu Quoc from December 24. Flights will depart from Incheon at 17:25 local time and land in Phu Quoc at 21:20. The return leg will set off from Phu Quoc at 22:20, reaching Incheon at 06:10 the following day.

With three major players in the fray, the Seoul-Phu Quoc route has garnered unprecedented attention in the South Korean market. The entry of multiple airlines could potentially lead to more competitive fares and broader choice for travellers. The Business Post particularly highlighted the favourable flight timings of Korean Air and Jin Air, while Jeju Air stands out for its tie-ups with local tourism packages, partnerships with resorts like New World Phu Quoc, and discounts on SIM cards for passengers.

According to the Korean Air Transport Portal, the number of South Korean travellers to and from Vietnam in the third quarter of this year reached over 2.3 million, more than double the figure on-year. It has been suggested that given the abundance of flights from South Korea to destinations like Nha Trang and Danang, airlines are redirecting their focus to Phu Quoc to capitalise on a fresh destination.

Data indicates that the Seoul-Phu Quoc route registered 931 flights with 200,000 passengers between January and August this year, marking a 53.6 per cent increase in flights and a 97.8 per cent surge in passenger numbers when compared to the same period from 2019. This explosive growth underscores the mounting demand from Korean travellers to Phu Quoc. As of October 15, Vietjet Air had been operating the only direct route, explaining the recent influx of South Korean carriers.

Phu Quoc has emerged as an attractive destination for South Korean tourists during the autumn-winter season. Some in the South Korean media have labelled Phu Quoc the 'Maldives of Vietnam', highlighting the island's potential as a fresh alternative to familiar destinations like Danang and Nha Trang.

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By Nhat Minh

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