Korean Air pauses Brisbane, Auckland flights; winds back Sydney

Flights to Australia and New Zealand are just some of those impacted by the airline's coronavirus changes.

By Chris Chamberlin, March 5 2020
Korean Air pauses Brisbane, Auckland flights; winds back Sydney

Korean Air is temporarily pausing its flights from Seoul to both Brisbane and Auckland as the coronavirus crisis continues to affect airline passenger numbers, with services to Sydney also reduced.

These changes are part of wider-ranging reductions in Korean Air’s network, in which flights to most destinations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and across Asia have been severely reduced or suspended entirely.

Here’s what you need to know.

Korean Air reduces Sydney-Seoul flights

From March 6 through until at least April 25, Korean Air’s flights between Sydney and Seoul will wind back from a daily service to four flights per week.

During this period, KE122 from Sydney to Seoul will run on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, while KE121 from Seoul to Sydney operates on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

However, further cut-backs could follow today's decision by the Australian government to add South Korea to a 'travel ban' list, alongside mainland China and Iran, intended to halt arrivals from countries with large scale outbreaks and growing cases of person-to-person COVID-19 transmission. Australia now has recorded two deaths and 53 confirmed cases of the virus.

Korean Air suspends Brisbane-Seoul flights

With immediate effect, all Korean Air flights between Brisbane and Seoul have been suspended, running from March 5 until at least April 25 2020.

This affects KE126 from Brisbane, and KE125 from Seoul – currently a daily flight throughout March, and which had been planned as a four-times-weekly service into April.

Flights from Seoul to Brisbane are currently set to resume on April 26 2020, with the return leg from Brisbane to Seoul returning to sale from April 27.

Korean Air pauses Auckland-Seoul flights

The airline’s sole destination in New Zealand, Auckland, will also temporarily disappear from the airline’s network in March 2020.

KE129 from Seoul to Auckland is paused until at least March 29 – returning on March 30 – while KE130 from Auckland to Seoul is suspended until at least March 30, set to resume on March 31.

As with all destinations, Korean Air also advises that “flight schedules are subject to change.”

Passengers affected by these changes and cancellations should contact the airline – or their travel agent, if applicable – to discuss their options.

Korean Air’s broader network changes

The airline's global network across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia is also being pruned. For example, all Korean Air flights from Seoul to New York are on hold until at least late April, with flights to Los Angeles halved during the same period.

Seoul-London services are also pared back to just three return services per week, while those to Japan are severely curtailed, with some routes to smaller cities put on ice until at least mid-October 2020.

For a full list of Korean Air’s current flight changes and cancellations, click here [PDF, 55kB].

Also read: Singapore Airlines, SilkAir extend coronavirus flight cuts to Australia

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

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