(Photo by Rob Finlayson)
South Korean low-cost carriers (LCCs) are ramping up international services to Guam, with two airlines launching routes from the southern city of Busan.
Jeju Air introduced Busan-Guam flights Jan. 8, while rival Air Busan has asked the US Department of Transportation for permission to operate the same route from June 30. The pair will be the only Korean LCCs to fly this route, although there is already LCC service to Guam from South Korea’s largest gateway Seoul.
The Jeju Air Busan-Guam flight will be 2X-weekly using Boeing 737-800s. This will complement the airline’s twice-daily flights between Seoul Incheon and Guam. Jeju received approval to fly to US destinations in 2012, at which time it expressed its intention to fly to Guam from both Busan and Seoul starting that year.
Air Busan filed its application to serve US destinations in December. The carrier intends to offer 4X-weekly flights to Guam, using either Airbus A320s or A321s. Air Busan said it may introduce service to Hawaii or even US mainland destinations, and also asked for permission to operate charter flights to US airports. So far, no comments have been filed regarding the application.
Air Busan is a subsidiary of major Korean carrier Asiana Airlines. It serves international destinations in Japan, greater China—including Hong Kong and Macau—Taiwan, the Philippines and Cambodia.
Korean Air also has a subsidiary LCC, Jin Air. The LCC has flights from Seoul Incheon to Guam, and the parent airline serves Guam from both Incheon and Busan.