Jeju Air demonstrated booming aviation growth in South Korea

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Air travel in South Korea is tremendous and booming. Korean Lowcost Airline Jeju Air ordered 70 737 MAX 8 Boeing aircraft and placed an option to purchase 10 additional jets. The deal, valued at up to $5.9 billion at list prices, is the largest order ever placed by a Korean low-cost carrier and reflects rising demand for air travel in South Korea.

“With Korea’s growing commercial aviation market, we are excited to take the next step in expanding our business with the 737 MAX, a world-class airplane that will allow us to improve our operation and continue to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for our passengers,” said Seok-Joo Lee, President and CEO of Jeju Air. “The 737 MAX 8 and its superior performance and economics make it an ideal airplane to implement our growth strategy as we look to expand beyond Asia in the coming years.”

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Jeju Air, based in South Korea’s Jeju Island, began operation in 2005 as the country’s first low-cost carrier. Since that time, the carrier has spearheaded the rapid development of Korea’s LCC market and contributed to the expansion of the broader Korean commercial aviation industry.

Flying a fleet of nearly 40 Next-Generation 737-800s, Jeju Air has steadily expanded its business and its profits. The airline has achieved 25 percent annual sales growth over the past five years and recorded 17 consecutive quarters of profitability.

Jeju Air is looking to build on its success with the enhanced version of the 737 jets. The 737 MAX 8 provides more range and offers 14 percent better fuel efficiency and environmental performance thanks to the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, and other aerodynamic improvements.

Jeju Air serves 60 domestic and international routes with approximately 200 daily flights. The carrier is a founding member of the Value Alliance, the first pan-regional low-cost carrier alliance formed with eight airlines based in Asia.

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.