Asiana Lures Early Birds with Large Discounts

The competition among domestic airlines is expected to get fiercer in the coming weeks and months.

Asiana Airlines said on Tuesday it will offer large discounts for customers who buy early bird tickets three to six months ahead of the departure date from April. The airline plans to create a separate booking site for the early purchases.

The new policy will mainly apply to short- and medium-haul routes to China, Japan and Southeast Asia, where it is competing with low-cost carriers.

This is the first time for Asiana to offer discounted tickets on a regular basis, as it responds to the rising market share of cheaper rivals.

The combined share of Korea's five budget airlines accounted for 48 percent of the domestic flight market last year and is likely to surpass 50 percent this year.

Meanwhile, Korean Air said it has no plan to adopt a similar measure because it targets a different demographic from the low-cost airlines.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 05, 2014 11:05 KST