SEOUL-- Jeju Air Co. and T'way will become South Korea's first budget carriers to operate direct flights to the Mongolian city of Ulaanbaatar, the transportation ministry said Thursday.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport decided to give Jeju Air, the nation's leading low-cost carrier, a license to operate the route four times per week, and its smaller rival T'way three times a week from June through September during a meeting of its air transportation deliberation commission.
Currently, the country's top airline Korean Air Lines Co. and the No. 2 Asiana Airlines Inc. operate the route six times per week and three times per week, respectively, and they were given a permit Thursday to add one more flight per week each.
Multiple carriers, including Jeju Air and T'way, had sought the Mongolian route, and the decision was made in accordance with due regulations and review, according to the ministry.
During the meeting, the ministry also gave licenses for nine additional international routes to five domestic carriers, including budget carrier Fly Gangwon, which was chosen to operate twice a week on a route between the country's eastern coastal county of Yangyang and the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu.
The commission meeting, meant to distribute flight routes, did not take place last year due to the pandemic. This year's session was held as the country is seeking to normalize the flight service in line with the national drive to return to normalcy.
"We will be fully prepared for those new flights without a hitch. We will continue efforts to secure additional flight licenses through aviation talks (with foreign countries) to have our people visit various countries," ministry official Kim Yong-seok said.
Source: Yonhap News Agency