Korean Air Expands Winter Operations to Meet Rising Demand

A Korean Air Boeing 737 in flight.
Photo Credit: Korean Air

In response to resurging travel demand, Korean Air is gearing up to expand its operations for the upcoming winter season.

With a focus on resuming services and increasing operations across multiple regions, including China, Japan, Southeast Asia, North America, and Oceania, the airline is set to provide travelers with enhanced connectivity and convenience.

Additionally, Korean Air is all set to introduce a new scheduled service to the breathtaking island destination of Phu Quoc, Vietnam, further diversifying its route network.

Winter 2023 Season

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) winter season is an eagerly anticipated time for travelers worldwide, running from October 29 to March 30 the following year.

Korean Air has been preparing for this upcoming season by carefully assessing and aligning its resources. As of September, the airline had already reached an impressive 85 percent of its pre-pandemic seat capacity, as measured by Available Seat Kilometers (ASK).


With the winter schedule set to launch, Korean Air aims to push that number above 90 percent, signifying a remarkable recovery.

A Korean Air Boeing 777 approaching to land.
Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

New Destination: Phu Quoc, Vietnam

One of the most exciting developments in Korean Air’s winter plans is the introduction of a new daily service to Phu Quoc, Vietnam, beginning on November 26.

Known as “Pearl Island,” Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island and is celebrated for its pristine white beaches and lush evergreen forests.

The daily flight from Seoul Incheon to Phu Quoc, departing at 3:45 pm and arriving at 7:50 pm, provides travelers with convenient access to this tropical paradise.

The return flight from Phu Quoc to Seoul Incheon departs at 9:20 pm and lands the next day at 4:50 am.

November is considered the optimal time to explore Phu Quoc as it marks the onset of the dry season, making it an ideal destination for sun seekers.

Reviving Connections to China and Japan

After a hiatus lasting three years and seven months, Korean Air has announced the resumption of services to three cities in China and Japan.

The airline recognizes the importance of restoring its global network, especially in regions where recovery has been slower compared to others.

For the China routes, Korean Air will operate daily flights for Busan-Shanghai and Seoul Incheon-Xiamen, and four times a week for Seoul Incheon-Kunming.

This strategic move aligns with the resurgence of group tours from China to various countries, including Korea, Japan, and the U.S. Since August, Chinese visitors have been showing increasing interest in these destinations, necessitating additional flight capacity.

In late October, Korean Air will also resume routes to smaller Japanese cities, including Kagoshima, Niigata, and Okayama, with three flights a week. This expansion offers travelers diverse scheduling options to explore the unique offerings of these charming Japanese destinations.

Increasing Frequencies Across Multiple Regions

In a bid to strengthen its presence in key markets, Korean Air is set to increase flight frequencies across various regions.

In China, the Seoul Incheon-Beijing route will see its frequency increase to 18 times a week from a daily service. The Jeju-Beijing route will now operate four times a week, up from three.

Furthermore, Seoul Incheon-Shenzhen and Seoul Incheon-Xian will offer daily flights, Seoul Incheon-Wuhan will have four flights a week, and Seoul Incheon-Hong Kong will increase to four daily flights, up from two.

Japanese travelers will also benefit from increased flight frequencies. Routes including Seoul Incheon-Osaka and Seoul Incheon-Fukuoka will offer four daily flights instead of three, while the Seoul Incheon-Tokyo Narita route will provide four daily flights, up from two.

Additionally, the Seoul Incheon-Nagoya route will operate 17 times a week until December 27, offering travelers ample opportunities to explore these captivating Japanese cities.

In Southeast Asia, Korean Air is expanding its presence by increasing flight frequencies on several routes. The Incheon-Bangkok route will offer five daily flights instead of three, while the Incheon-Manila route will provide three daily flights, up from two.

Furthermore, the Seoul Incheon-Delhi and Seoul Incheon-Kathmandu routes will have four weekly flights, compared to three previously.

Travelers looking to visit Chiang Mai will also benefit from an increased frequency of twice daily flights until March 2 next year.

For those planning to explore the captivating landscapes of Oceania, Korean Air has exciting news as well. Routes like Seoul Incheon-Auckland and Seoul Incheon-Brisbane will increase their frequency to daily flights from five times a week, effective from November 10 to March 18 next year.

Additionally, the Seoul Incheon-Las Vegas route will provide five weekly flights, up from four.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 6 Min Read
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