Korean’s Jin Air is planning a return to Cairns for a second year of seasonal flying, albeit with a reduced schedule.
Cairns Airport said on Wednesday the Korean airline planned to operate 12 return flights between Seoul and Cairns during December 2017 and January 2018.
The 12 flights is a reduction from the 16 return services Jin Air scheduled when it started flying on the Seoul-Cairns route with Boeing 777-200ER equipment between December 2016 and February 2017.
Nonetheless, Cairns Airport chief executive Norris Carter was thrilled to have Jin Air back for a second year, giving travellers from around the world another option to visit North Queensland.
“We were honoured last year when Jin Air chose Cairns as their first Australian destination and their seasonal service proved to be one of the most successful ever to operate into Cairns Airport, with every flight almost at capacity,” Carter said in a statement.
“Along with the Tourism and Events Queensland, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Tourism Australia, we continue to work with Jin Air to develop an extended seasonal service and eventually a service that can provide South Korean people with year round access to our destination.”
Jin Air is a subsidiary of Korean Air. Its 777-200ERs were configured with either 393 or 355 seats.
Currently, Korean Air flies from Seoul (Incheon) to Brisbane and Sydney, having dropped its Melbourne service in 2013. Meanwhile, Asiana serves Sydney from the Korean capital. No Australian carrier operates nonstop flights to South Korea.
Jin Air could potentially offer flight links beyond Cairns thanks to an interline agreement with the Jetstar group of airlines that was signed in April 2016.
Figures from Tourism Australia indicated South Korea was the ninth largest market for visitor arrivals in 2016.