The airport secured Scotland’s only direct service from Seoul after flag carrier Korean Air and tour operator Hanjin Travel confirmed earlier this year they would introduce a summer charter service from the country’s capital - one of the world’s megacities with a population of more than 10 million people.
Korean Air and sister company Hanjin Travel will operate three in-bound services this month between Seoul and Glasgow Airport, which will serve as a gateway to more than 1,000 South Korean tourists flying to and from Scotland.
Hanjin Travel, one of South Korea’s leading travel companies, played a major role in developing the country’s tourism industry. In recent years, it has been extending its European route network with the launch of similar charter services to Oslo and Marseille. Hanjin Travel has launched the Glasgow Airport service with a view to introducing further flights in 2017.
Today’s inaugural flight was operated by Korean Air using an Airbus A330 aircraft, with two further flights due to arrive on 12 and 19 August respectively.
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “Securing the country’s first direct service with South Korea is a significant step both for Glasgow Airport and Scotland’s tourism industry. We are honoured Korean Air and its sister company Hanjin Travel have chosen Glasgow Airport as their customers’ gateway to Scotland.
“Hanjin Travel has been instrumental in encouraging the growth of South Korea’s outbound tourism market and this service represents an important step in further strengthening Scotland’s ties with Asia. We are looking forward to working closely with both Korean Air and Hanjin Travel to further develop their initial charter programme in the years ahead.”
Mr Oh Sang Kwon, President Hanjin Travel, said: “As one of South Korea’s leading travel companies we are very proud to introduce the wonderful city of Glasgow and indeed the whole of Scotland to our passengers. I am sure the city’s excellent shopping and wonderful architecture, alongside the world-renowned scenery of Scotland, will prove very popular with South Korean travellers. We really enjoyed the traditional Scottish welcome we received on arrival at Glasgow Airport.”
Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf said: “I’m delighted to welcome the visitors from the inaugural flight of this new exciting service, linking Scotland with South Korea. Scotland offers an absolutely fantastic tourist experience for travellers from around the globe and I hope they enjoy their time here.
“This new flight is the first step in an important new relationship between Glasgow Airport and Korean Air, further strengthening links between Scotland and South East Asia.
“I have no doubt this service will prove popular and I hope both parties will be able to build and expand on its success in the future. I wish Glasgow Airport and Korean Air every success with this venture.”
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Securing Korea’s national air carrier and the arrival today of Scotland’s first direct flight from Seoul, which is one of the world’s biggest cities, is a momentous occasion for Glasgow, our airport and the city’s tourism economy.
“Having been named by travel industry bible National Geographic Traveller as one of the 20 best destinations in the world for 2016, this exciting new service will allow visitors from South East Asia to experience Glasgow’s world-renowned welcome and unrivalled tourism offering.
“Moreover, it further strengthens our reputation as Scotland’s long-haul gateway and reinforces our commitment to growing the city’s global connectivity and forging tourism links with emerging markets. Glasgow City Marketing Bureau is delighted to be working with Glasgow Airport, Korean Air and Hanjin Travel to ensure this new route really takes off.”
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “We are very pleased to welcome our first visitors from Seoul on this new direct charter service, which makes it easier for the people of South Korea to enjoy a trip to Scotland and discover all that our amazing country has to offer. Scotland is more connected than ever before through transport and digital channels – giving it a louder voice within key markets – and we look forward to welcoming more visitors from the Far East in the months and years ahead.”