Korean Air, citing “a surge in passenger demand,” said it is actively restoring its international network, including the planned resumption of four more routes to Europe.
The carrier will also restart 3X-weekly service from ICN to both Barcelona (BCN) and Rome (FCO) in September.
The carrier is already serving Amsterdam (AMS), Frankfurt (FRA), London Heathrow (LHR) and Paris de Gaulle (CDG) in Europe. Frequencies on the ICN-CDG route will rise from 5X-weekly to daily this month. ICN-AMS and ICN-FRA flight frequencies will grow from 3X-weekly to 5X-weekly this month. The ICN-LHR route will remain a 5X-weekly service.
Korean Air pointed to the South Korean government’s lifting of travel restrictions in June as enabling the restart of so many international routes.
The SkyTeam member noted that it is flying to 13 North American cities this summer. ICN-New York Kennedy (JFK) flights will rise to a 2X-daily frequency in August from daily service in June and 12X-weekly flights in July.
Korean Air and fellow SkyTeam carrier Delta Air Lines operate an antitrust-immunized transpacific joint venture.
The airline’s international passenger capacity in June was one-third of 2019 pre-pandemic levels and the carrier seeks to grow international capacity to 50% of 2019 levels by September.
With passenger demand returning, Korean Air is now converting passenger Boeing 777s from temporary freighters used during the pandemic back into passenger aircraft. Three of 10 converted 777s will rejoin the passenger fleet this month. The carrier is also reconverting an Airbus A330 previously used for cargo flights.
The airline said its workforce will be sufficient to handle the growth of international traffic. “In preparation for a surge in passenger demand, Korean Air is actively securing its workforce to maintain safe operations and service excellence,” the airline said in a statement. “The airline has begun hiring pilots and is considering hiring more flight attendants depending on the recovery situation.”