□It has become possible for multiple airlines to fly to Mongolia, the number 1 travel destination of 2019 selected by the UN World Tourism Organization for the first time after about 30 years through the aviation meeting between Korea and Mongolia.
□Flights between Incheon and Ulaanbaatar were kept as a ‘monopolized route‘ that can be serviced by only one airline company from each country since the aviation agreement between the two nations was entered back in ‘91.
ㅇFrom ‘03, despite holding numerous aviation meetings, the deadlock (8 out 12 broken down) continued due to the different position of the two countries, and therefore, the number of flights could not be increased.
* Korean Airline of Korea and MIAT Mongolian Airlines both exclusively service flights six times a week
ㅇIn result, airline tickets for this route became excessively high and it has been unable to manage the increasing flight demands* thus leading to a chronic shortage of airline tickets and severe inconvenience for the people.
* Demand for flights between Korea and Mongolia: estimated at about 330,000 as of ‘18, increased at approximately 11% per year
ㅇ In fact, airfare between Incheon and Ulaanbaatar can rise to over 1 million won during high seasons, and ticket prices can be more than double compared to other routes with similar flight times (approximately 3.5 hours).
□ Thus, the MOLIT (Minister Kim Hyun-mee) held the Korea-Mongolia Aviation Meeting* in Seoul on January 16 and 17. The meeting resulted in increasing transportation rights for flights between Incheon and Ulaanbaatar by about 70%, while also allowing a second national flag carrier aside from Korean Air to service the route, thereby switching the monopolistic system into a competitive system.
* Senior Delegate: (Korea) Jin Hyun-hwan, MOLIT Aviation Policy Officer (Mongolia) Chief Myagmarsuren, Ministry of road and Transport Development
** (Increased supply) 1,488 seats (Mathematical average of Korea’s 1,656 seats and Mongolia’s 1,320 seats)→2,500 seats
ㅇUntil now, Korean Air was the only carrier allowed to fly this route and could fly up to six times a week. With this agreement, however, two airlines from Korea can fly up to nine times a week within a scope of 2,500 seats.
ㅇ The increased transportation rights are to be distributed sometime in March and in addition to Korean Air, a second national flag carrier is scheduled to begin services* starting in the summer season that begins on March 31.
* Increased flights operated in a day with more than one airline servicing the route (currently 2→3)
□ In addition to the Incheon-Ulaanbaatar route, the Busan-Ulaanbaatar route transportation right will also increase by once a week (currently two flights to three flights a week), and the seat limit per flight will be upward adjusted (162→195 seats) and thus the total number of seats available for the flight will increase by about 80% from 324 seats (162 seats x 2) to 585 seats (195 seats x 3).
□Also, the cargo transportation rights between Incheon and Ulaanbaatar were set to five times a week and agreements were made to allow not only Korean and Mongolian airliners, but also airlines of third countries to participate in code shares so that citizens can travel to different parts of Mongolia using various code share flights.
ㅇ Through this, Korean citizens will now be able to travel to different parts of Mongolia other than Ulaanbaatar by purchasing connecting flight tickets.
□ A spokesperson from the MOLIT said, “There were big differences of opinion on allowing multiple airline companies and increasing transportation rights with the Mongolian aviation authorities and talks fell through a total of eight times over the past 15 years. The aviation meetings between Korea and Mongolia lingered as a tough issue for both countries.“
ㅇ“Thanks to the two aviation authorities coming to a decision for the future, it has become possible to significantly resolve issues on high ticket costs and lack of flights for the citizens of both countries.“
ㅇ “Also, it has become possible to choose flights with various schedules and therefore, it is expected that traveling to Mongolia will become more convenient for not only tourists, but also students and businessmen.“
For more details regarding this press release or if you wish to cover more, please contact MOLIT International Air Transport Division Secretary Kim Min-jeong (☎ 044-201-4215) or Action Officer Kim Gwan-ho (☎ 044-201-4216).