Foreign airlines are aggressively taking over the growing Korean market by attracting customers with cheaper flights. The low-fare flights they offer are now 25 to 30 percent cheaper than those of more established airlines in the country.
According to Incheon International Airport, the market share of foreign airlines in the first quarter of this year rose over 2 percentage points on-year to nearly 38 percent. This comes as foreign airlines are expanding their presence in the market as demand for air traffic gradually increases in recent years following a drop off during the financial crisis in 2009.
With foreign carriers eating up more of the market, Korea's two representative airlines, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines each lost about one percent of their respective market shares in the first quarter. Experts say Korean airlines should position themselves as "long-distance premium airlines" to stay one step ahead.