Asiana, second largest in South Korea, has witnessed a significant drop in the number of bookings and ticket sales from both individual and group travelers in China since the crash in San Francisco on Saturday, according to its staff members.
“There are indeed some impacts. There are many visits, inquiring whether a flight has taken off normally, whether a flight has been delayed,” said a marketing staff member at the airline.
The crash also triggered concerns whether Asiana Airlines, reeling from years of financial losses despite offering cheap airfares, is capable of maintaining high safety standards.
In response to such questioning, Moon Meyong-Yong, general manager of Asiana Airlines’ regional operations in China, said losses have never compromised its safety standards or customer service.
“Asiana Airlines is not a low-cost airline. In terms of services, we have been honored as ‘Airline of the Year’ for seven straight years. In terms of ticket prices, our connecting flights are a little cheaper, but the difference is not so great,” Moon said.
On the aviation market in China, Moon said the lack of long-distance flights from many Chinese cities has offered foreign airlines like Asiana opportunities to expand their businesses in the country.
“We have direct flights from Seoul from 21 Chinese cities, good news for travelers heading to Seoul. Apart from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, long distance services have insufficient capacity. So there are not many routes. Considering services, flight ticket prices and the time of connecting flights, customers feel that the prices of connecting flights are acceptable,” he explained.
Passenger flights between China and South Korea currently account for 20 percent of Asiana’s total number of flights.
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