Korean Air has increased its international passenger capacity for July and August to meet the growing demand. It expects to be at 50 per cent pre-pandemic levels by September, three months earlier than previously planned.
For the Americas, the airline is currently operating 14 flights a week (twice daily) on the Incheon-Los Angeles route and the Incheon-New York route increased from seven to 12 flights a week in July and will increase to 14 (two daily) in August.
In July, flight frequencies also increased from five to seven times a week on Incheon-Washington D.C and Incheon-Honolulu routes, and from six to seven times on the Incheon-Vancouver route, joining routes to Atlanta and San Francisco where daily flights are in operation.
Weekly frequencies on the Boston and Dallas routes also increased from three to four times a week, and from four to five times on the Chicago route.
The Las Vegas route was restored in July with services offered three times a week. In August, the number of weekly flights on the Incheon-Seattle route will increase from four to five.
Weekly flight frequencies on Europe routes also increased in July: five to seven times on the Incheon-Paris route, and three to five times on the Incheon-Frankfurt and Incheon-Amsterdam routes.
Routes to Milan and Vienna, which have been suspended since March 2020, resumed in July with a three times a week service, and routes to Barcelona and Rome will also resume operations three times a week from September.
Flights in the Southeast Asia region are also quickly being restored. In July, frequencies on routes to Bangkok, Singapore, Manila and Ho Chi Minh City increased to 14 flights a week (twice daily), and to seven weekly flights on routes to Hanoi and Jakarta. Da Nang and Bali routes also resumed with daily operations in July.
For Japan, the airline resumed the Sapporo route in July starting with flights twice a week and then increasing to daily flights in August. Services to Okinawa will also resume in August with three weekly flights. International routes out of Gimpo will resume starting with two weekly flights on the Gimpo-Haneda route from June 29, and will gradually expand to Osaka depending on demand.
In July, flights on the Incheon-Hong Kong route increased from four to seven times a week; from three to four weekly flights on the Incheon-Taipei route; and from four to seven weekly flights on the Incheon-Ulaanbaatar route. Flights to China are still largely restricted due to the closed borders, but the airline will increase flights to China according to international flight operation plans agreed upon by the two nations.
To meet the increasing passenger demand, Korean Air is operating the A380 daily on the New York route and three times a week on the Hong Kong route and daily on the Narita route from September.
During the pandemic, Korean Air conducted thorough inspections of its parked aircraft including the exterior, tires, landing gears, electronic equipment, and engines every seven, 14 and 30 days. For stored aircraft to be deployed for flight operations, 400 hours of comprehensive inspection must be completed, which takes six technicians working for about seven days.