Low-cost carriers accounted for over 50 percent of domestic flights on routes to Jeju Island for the first time last year.
The Korea Airports Corporation said on Wednesday that a total of 18.23 million passengers travel the routes, with 53.7 percent or 9.79 million passengers flying on the five budget airlines.
In annualized terms, the low-cost carriers saw their combined passenger numbers on the Jeju routes rise by 1.29 million and their total market share climb 4.1 percentage points last year. Among them, the Gimpo-Jeju route had the highest number of passengers, with the budget carriers making up 59.3 percent of the market segment.
Among them, Jeju Air claimed the highest market share with 15.7 percent. Jin Air and Eastar Jet were joint second with 10 percent, followed by T’Way Air (9.9 percent) and Air Busan (8 percent).
In contrast, flagship carriers' market shares continue to fall. Korean Air saw its passenger numbers on the Jeju route fall to 4.67 million last year from 5.02 million in 2012, while its market share dropped to 25.6 percent. As for Asiana Airlines, its passenger numbers edged up from 3.61 million to 3.76 million over the same period, but its market share dipped 0.4 percentage points to 20.7 percent.