The skies between Sydney and Seoul are about to become a lot more crowded as South Korea’s T’way Air shoulders its way into a four-way market alongside incumbents Korean Air and Asiana Airlines and new entrants Qantas and Jetstar.
T’way is a low-cost carrier cut from the same cloth as Jetstar and AirAsia, with a premium cabin package including angled lie-flat seats plus all the inclusions for which economy passengers have to pay extra.
In fact the airline’s business class seats are identical to those of AirAsia, which used to fly the same Airbus A330 jets now leased to T’way.
And while these 'sloping sleepers’ take some getting used to, they can be sufficient to the task on these 11-hour flights.
T'way Air plans to begin flying those A330s four times a week between Seoul Incheon and Sydney from December 23, according to a statement supplied to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.
The flights, which are expected to go on sale next week, will see TW501 leaving Seoul at 10.20pm every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, reaching Sydney at 10.45am the following day.
The TW502 return leg departs Sydney at 12.15pm every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, getting you into Seoul at 9.05pm.
A five-way market
Korean Air and Asiana Airlines – which will soon merge into a single mega-airline, but lose the Asiana brand and eventually the Airbus A380s and Boeing 747s – will both have daily Sydney-Seoul flights in December, reflecting the continued uptick in demand.
They’ll be joined by Qantas on December 10, with four flights per week, in the wake of Jetstar launching the same route on November 2.
According to Qantas, South Korea is Australia’s fourth largest trading partner “and Koreans see Sydney as one of the top tourism destinations.”
“With expected strong business, premium leisure and low-cost travel demand on the route, we see an opportunity for both Qantas and Jetstar to fly on the route,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce noted when those flights were first announced.