LONDON – The Korean flag carrier Korean Air is set to re-launch its famed Prague to Seoul flights.
One of Asia’s most lively, populous and cyber-savvy cities, Seoul will be reconnected to one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Prague.
Seoul is known for its, monuments, rich history, popular entertainment culture, shopping malls, hills and food is one of the most important sources of air traffic to the Czech capital.
As of 27 March 2023, Prague Airport will be once again greeted by Korean Air, offering the only direct connection to East Asia by the Skyteam carrier. This is a full 3-year hiatus, as March 2020 was the last time it flew the route.
Jiří Pos, Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors acknowledged that the resumption of Seoul to Prague services will be a significant event and a top priority for long-haul services out of Prague. He stated: “This is an important milestone not only on the way to resuming operations and returning to the 2019 figures but also in terms of building a network of direct routes to Asia. Korea is one of the markets with the highest demand within the Asian region,”
Mr Park Jeong Soo, Managing Vice President and Head of the Passenger Network, added: “At the centre of the airline’s Central European network, Prague is a flagship destination that boasts centuries of rich history and cultural heritage.”
“The service resumption will give us an opportunity to pick up where we left off in fostering active exchanges between the two countries.”
Frequencies Depend on Demand
As a starting point, Korean Air will fly this route three times a week every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with the possible option of extending it to four demand depending.
It is likely during summer, flights will be flown on a four-weekly basis during the summer season looking at the current demand trajectory.
Passengers will get to experience the Boeing 777-300ERs aircraft with 291 seats (64 in Business Class, 227 in Economy Class). This flight will fill the vacuum of flights between Korea or East Asia to Central and or Eastern Europe. Czechia’s previous national flag carrier flew the route with the A330 before the pandemic.
Moreover, passengers flying from Prague can also transit to other destinations via Seoul, such as Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand.
From Prague with Love
Koreans are in love with the country, as demonstrated by almost 400,000 Korean tourists visiting Czechia in 2019 according to the Czech Tourism agency director Jan Herget. Herget stated:
“We firmly believe that thanks to the direct route and the gradual opening of Asian markets after the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be a recovery of tourism between Korea and the Czech Republic and a gradual return to the 2019 numbers.”
“While in 2019, we recorded 387 thousand arrivals of tourists from the Republic of Korea, a year later, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, only 42 thousand Koreans arrived. In 2021, the number dropped even more, to eight thousand visitors.”
“Tourists from Asia are key to the Czech tourism industry for their high creditworthiness. The average daily spending is around four thousand crowns.”
This makes the return of direct flights to Seoul a boost for the Czech economy. František Cipro, Chairman of the Prague City Tourism Board of Directors, commented:
“The connection between Prague and Seoul is the result of the coordinated activities of all key stakeholders, for which we are very happy because it will bring travellers from Asia, who are currently absent in the city, back to Prague.”
“In 2019, more than 270 thousand tourists from South Korea visited the capital. Last year, we have recorded less than 40 thousand,”
Always been a lucrative city-pair
This route has always been successful for both the airline and the airport, evident by the 2019 number. Overall over 190,000 passengers commuted between the two capitals in both directions throughout 2019.
This is a win-win for individuals at both ends. The resumption of flights will be incredibly beneficial for South Korean holiday-goers as they can travel to Prague hassle-free, while the city of Prague will benefit economically from this re-connection.