South Korea’s low-cost airline, T’way Air, has signed a lease agreement for three A330-300 aircraft. The company which never had wide-body aircraft in the fleet now plans to launch several long-haul routes next summer season, including one to Croatia.
T’way Air, a South Korean low-cost airline based in Seoul, has signed a lease agreement for three A330-300 wide-body aircraft, which it plans to operate on several long-haul routes in the summer of 2022, including a route to Croatia.
T'way currently has in its fleet just narrow-body aircraft, 27 of B737-800, which operates on routes within South Korea, but also on a number of international routes to China, Japan, Russia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. .
After Korean Air canceled the Seoul - Zagreb - Seoul route, T’way received permission from the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to operate a direct flights between South Korea and Croatia (up to four flights per week). The company planned its first long-haul flights for this year, but as the global pandemic has not yet calmed down, plans have been postponed to next year.
However, tickets on the company's long-haul routes are not yet on sale for next year and the route between South Korea and Croatia has not yet been announced by T'way, but company's CEO confirmed that route to Croatia will be among the first long-haul destinations.
On the other hand, Korean Air is selling tickets on the direct route between Seoul and Zagreb starting from April next year, but it should be reminded that the tickets on the direct route were on sale for this year as well, and there are no flights due to the global pandemic.
In case that Korean Air returns to Zagreb in the spring of 2022 (chances are quite slim), only logical destination for T'way Air would be Dubrovnik. As the largest Korean carrier is unlikely to return to Zagreb Airport, it is expected that this low-cost carrier will introduce a route between Seoul and Zagreb.
Korean Air had no success in Zagreb. There are several reasons, but one of the main ones is the company's pricing policy. Namely, for passengers departing from Zagreb to Seoul and other destinations in Asia and Australia, Korean Air was almost always the most expensive option, in addition to that, the competition offered significantly more weekly flights (Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines). That is the reason why Korean Air was used mostly by Korean tourists visiting Croatia and the region. Tickets on Korean Air flights were even expensive for them, so they were coming to Croatia with other airlines (three mentioned above), as well with LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa and Air France.
T’way is a low-cost airline, if they really decide to launch flights to Croatia next summer, we can expect significantly cheaper ticket prices compared to those offered by Korean Air just a year ago. Connections via Seoul would allow travelers from Croatia to continue traveling to numerous destinations in Japan and China which is great since Emirates does not plan to return to Zagreb soon as well. We don't even have to talk about the importance of the direct route between two countries; South Korean tourists have been one of the most important in Croatia for years, especially in Zagreb city.
Before outbreak of the global pandemic, in addition to direct route between Zagreb and Seoul, Korean Air planned a series of charter flights between Seoul and Dubrovnik in the summer of 2020 with a B777-300ER aircraft.