More Seoul for Melbourne as Asiana Airlines doubles services

An Asiana Airlines A350 on the runway.
Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

South Korean carrier Asiana Airlines has revealed a proposed service boost for its present flights between Melbourne and Seoul. The airline is set to double its operations on this route later this year.

Currently, Asiana operates twice weekly seasonal services, but starting from July 2 until September 2, the airline will increase the flights to four per week.

A Boost in Melbourne Operations

The airline has announced that it will be doubling its operations between the two cities later this year.

Asiana Airlines, one of South Korea’s major carriers, has a long-standing reputation for quality service and reliable operations, and the doubled frequency will be the Victorian capital city airport will be seeing more of its Airbus A350 aircraft in the coming months.

The recent introduction of twice-weekly seasonal services between Melbourne and Seoul has reportedly received positive feedback from passengers.

Now, Asiana Airlines plans to enhance its offerings by doubling the frequency of flights. From July 2 to September 2, flights will operate four times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Departing from Melbourne at 11:10 PM, travelers will board the state-of-the-art Airbus A350 aircraft, arriving in Seoul at 9:15 AM the following day. This increased frequency aims to cater to the groundswell of demand and provide more flexibility for travel options.

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Asiana Airlines

Melbourne Airport’s Response

Jim Parashos, Chief of Aviation at Melbourne Airport, expressed enthusiasm for Asiana Airlines’ strategic decision. He noted strong demand during the holiday season, saying:

“Seoul was Melbourne’s largest unserved market, so it was no surprise to us when in January we saw an average load factor of 96% on all Asiana flights arriving into Melbourne Airport, which represents fewer than 10 vacant seats free on almost every flight” he said.

“We know there’s huge demand for this service with more than 4500 passengers flying between the two cities across December and January,” he observed.

The new seasonal service coincides with Korea’s peak holiday period, so the Airport anticipates that it will attract even stronger demand.

Melbourne Airport signage.
Photo Credit: Melbourne Airport

Impacts on Tourism and Business

The expanded operations are expected to have a positive impact on both tourism and business travel.

Leisure travelers are typically drawn to Seoul’s vibrant culinary and music scene, while business travelers stand to benefit from the increased connectivity to Korean corporate hubs.

As Melbourne’s largest unserved market, Seoul presents vast opportunities for growth. Korean corporate giants, such as Hanwha and Lotte, are expanding their presence in Victoria, further driving demand for direct flights.

Economic Benefits

The economic benefits of increased international flights extend beyond passenger convenience. An average daily international flight contributes significantly to the Victorian economy, facilitating trade and supporting exporters.

As Melbourne Airport surpasses pre-pandemic international capacity, the decision by Asiana Airlines is a further indicator of the prevailing confidence in the market’s recovery.

Future Prospects

Asiana’s commitment to the Melbourne market is a positive sign for the future, and it is hoped that this will pave the way for year-round services in the future.

The introduction of seasonal flights is being seen as a stepping stone towards establishing year-round services for the South Korean carrier.

This move not only enhances connectivity to South Korea but also opens up opportunities for onward travel to Europe, North Asia, and North America.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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