British Airways Announces New Service to Seoul From London

British Airways, a UK based airline, is opening a new route from London to Seoul, in South Korea.

The airline is introducing its new route between Seoul Incheon Airport and London Heathrow Airport from December 2, 2012.

Drew Crawley, the airline commercial director, said, ‘We have seen significant growth in customers wanting to travel to Seoul for both business and pleasure. It is a vibrant city with a strong economic base.

Equally, we want to ensure that we do our bit in bringing as much business and tourism to the UK as we can.’

The new route will be flying to Seoul with stopovers at Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing or Shanghai, and the flights will be departing from Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport. The airline intends to operate a Boeing 777 aircraft, with First class, Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy) grades of seating, and will be offering six flights per week on the route.

Keith Williams, the airline chief executive officer, said, ‘When we decided to launch Seoul, we were basing it on the strong demand from business travellers in both directions given the city’s strong economic base.’

Previously, Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, the airline’s parent company, said, ‘Asia is an opportunity – particularly now we have flights at Heathrow through the acquisition of Bmi.

We are currently under-served in that market although we will not be looking to enter the intra-Asia market as we don’t think we have the expertise to do that. It would also be very expensive and probably loss making.

Our focus is on serving growth markets from Asia into Europe. We are just about to start a route to Seoul and we plan to launch a number of new destinations in Asia.

Lots of airports are keen to see a BA presence and we are in dialogue with them. There’s a significant opportunity to increase our Asian presence in a profitable way – particularly with the delivery of the Boeing 787s next year.

We will further expand into the North American market – it’s always been very important for BA and it continues to be a market where there’s growth opportunity.’

OECD meeting focuses on green tourism in South Korea

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) meeting in South Korea is focussing on green tourism in the country.

The 90th session of the OECD Tourism Committee and the OECD/APEC Tourism Working Group Forum opened on Monday in North Jeolla Province. Tourism experts from all over the world are attending the function. The meeting was co-hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and supervised by North Jeolla Province. The theme for the two day event was ‘sustainable and green’ tourism.

More than 150 representatives from 40 OECD and APEC member countries were present at the meeting. The meeting was also represented by members of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Local Development of the OECD.

Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Choe Kwang-shik, said, ‘I sincerely welcome you to Muju, which is home to the cleanest and most beautiful natural environment in the country. We are delighted to hold the OECD tourism committee meeting here at Muju where tradition harmonizes with the natural environment. The tourism industry is becoming more widely recognized as an important means to create jobs and invigorate the economy. Sustainable and green tourism is also becoming more important. The Korean government, with such a concept in mind, played a significant role in including tourism in the agenda for sustainable development at the Rio+20 Conference held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June this year. In such a way, we are striving to contribute to developing the global tourism industry.’

The meeting would see participants discussing the tourism industry’s success cases in developed countries.