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Majority of outbound Korean travelers opt for foreign, budget carriers

All Headlines 09:56 June 13, 2017

SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) -- Nearly 6 out of 10 South Koreans who traveled abroad this year used foreign or budget carriers, industry data showed Tuesday, amid rising demand from budget-conscious travelers.

According to the data by Hana Tour, the country's No. 1 travel agency, low-cost carriers and other foreign airlines accounted for 57 percent of all overseas tour programs sold from January to May. The Seoul-based company declined to provide details on the actual number of travelers.

Demand for low-cost flights has been on a constant rise, as more South Koreans went overseas during holidays, experts said.

The rate of foreign and budget carrier tickets sold at the company has been hovering above the 50 percent level since 2011. Last year, the comparable figure was 61 percent, according to Hana Tour.

In order to recoup their falling presence, the country's two leading carriers -- Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc. -- have been diversifying routes and increasing the number of flights but fell short of regaining ground, they said.

"The budget and foreign carriers with price competitiveness will continue to show an upward trend in line with the increase in the number of free independent travelers," a Hana Tour official said.

In this file photo taken on April 30, 2017, the departure lobby is crowded with outbound travelers at Incheon airport, west of Seoul, as many people take advantage of extended holidays from late April to early May to visit popular tourist destinations at home and abroad. (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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