British Airways, a UK based airline, is opening a new route from London to Seoul, in South Korea.
The airline is introducing its new route between Seoul Incheon Airport and London Heathrow Airport from December 2, 2012.
Drew Crawley, the airline commercial director, said, ‘We have seen significant growth in customers wanting to travel to Seoul for both business and pleasure. It is a vibrant city with a strong economic base.
Equally, we want to ensure that we do our bit in bringing as much business and tourism to the UK as we can.’
The new route will be flying to Seoul with stopovers at Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing or Shanghai, and the flights will be departing from Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport. The airline intends to operate a Boeing 777 aircraft, with First class, Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy) grades of seating, and will be offering six flights per week on the route.
Keith Williams, the airline chief executive officer, said, ‘When we decided to launch Seoul, we were basing it on the strong demand from business travellers in both directions given the city’s strong economic base.’
Previously, Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, the airline’s parent company, said, ‘Asia is an opportunity – particularly now we have flights at Heathrow through the acquisition of Bmi.
We are currently under-served in that market although we will not be looking to enter the intra-Asia market as we don’t think we have the expertise to do that. It would also be very expensive and probably loss making.
Our focus is on serving growth markets from Asia into Europe. We are just about to start a route to Seoul and we plan to launch a number of new destinations in Asia.
Lots of airports are keen to see a BA presence and we are in dialogue with them. There’s a significant opportunity to increase our Asian presence in a profitable way – particularly with the delivery of the Boeing 787s next year.
We will further expand into the North American market – it’s always been very important for BA and it continues to be a market where there’s growth opportunity.’