Air Busan Co., a South Korean budget carrier, said Monday it has begun to offer flights on a route from a provincial airport to Vientiane, Laos, as part of its route diversification efforts.
Air Busan began servicing the route from the southern port city of Busan, 453 kilometers south of Seoul, to the capital city of Laos with a 195-seat A321 passenger jet, the company said in a statement.
The budget carrier unit of Asiana Airlines Inc. currently operates 15 A321-200 jets and six smaller A320-200s, all leased and with up to 220 seats, to serve four domestic routes and 24 international routes. In 2020, it plans to bring in the A321-200 NEO.
South Korean airlines have diversified their routes to offset lower travel demand from China amid ongoing political tensions between the two countries over the deployment of an advanced U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea to deter North Korean provocations.
In March, Beijing banned the sale of group tour packages to South Korea in apparent retaliation against the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, which it argues could be used to spy on its military.