Asiana not to enter budget airline market

Asiana Airlines will not make inroads into the domestic low-fare air market, the chairman of Kumho Asiana Group told Yonhap news agency on Monday. The air carrier is a subsidiary of the nation’s eighth largest conglomerate Kumho Asiana Group, which has a business portfolio ranging from airlines and finance to construction and petrochemicals.

“We are not interested in the establishment of a low-fare air carrier,” Park Sam-koo, chairman of Kumho Asiana told reporters at a symposium held here.

His remarks came after Asiana’s rival Korean Air Co., the largest flag carrier, said last Monday it will set up a low-cost airline by 2010 to boost its international competitiveness.

Kang Joo-an, president of Asiana Airlines, also said that his company is not considering setting up a budget airline at the moment, although it has been keeping an eye on Korean Air’s move.

The envisioned low-fare carrier would fly domestic routes and short and mid-haul international routes between South Korea and China, and Japan and the Philippines, using small and mid-sized planes, Korean Air said.

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In South Korea, two low-fare carriers—Hansung Airlines and Jeju Air Co.—operate flights on domestic routes and and trying to offer international flights. Two more low-cost carriers are to be established next year.
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