Less than two weeks after ending service to the destination, Asiana Airlines has announced they will be re-launching direct flights from Seoul to the Marianas next month.
According to the airlines official website, Asiana will operate four weekly flights from Incheon to Saipan beginning on 27 April 2023. In anticipation of high travel demand during the summer, the flights will be operated daily from 01 July -27 August.
“The Incheon-Saipan route has been in operation for more than 30 years since its launch in May 1992, and even during the pandemic, the Asiana airlines continued its efforts to connect passengers through the Travel Bubble agreement,” said Asiana through a representative. “As the only full service carrier on the route, Asiana Airlines will strengthen our competitiveness by providing differentiated services from low-cost carriers and cooperating with related organizations, including the Marianas Visitors Authority.”
The announcement was warmly welcomed by the Marianas Visitors Authority as Korea was one of the top source markets for the Marianas prior to the pandemic.
“Asiana Airlines has been one of our key partners in reopening the Korea market in the midst of Covid and bringing us to the level of tourism recovery we have today,” said MVA Acting Managing Director Judy C.Torres.“We are very grateful for their continued commitment to the Marianas as a full service airline, as they serve many business travelers and add greater credibility to our destination with their partnership.Their return helps solidify the Korea market as we continue the work of increasing visitor arrivals, in total.”
Visitors arrivals from South Korea for the month were the highest since before the pandemic, reaching about 12,000 arrivals compared to 2,821 in February last year. By the end of Fiscal Year 2023 in September, the number of available air seats from Korea is projected to be restored to 80 percent of the number available before the pandemic.
Overall, visitor arrivals to the Marianas are 55% lower year-to-date compared to FY 2019 before the pandemic.