Friday, February 07, 2014

Houston to Seoul, nonstop

Add another airline and another major city to Bush Intercontinental Airport's growing list of international services:
Korean Air announced Wednesday it is launching a nonstop service between Houston and Seoul.

The four-day-a-week flight will launch in May between Bush Intercontinental and Incheon International Airports. The flights will depart every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. This is the second destination for the airline in Texas.

"We're very bullish on the Americas," says John Jackson, the airline's vice president of marketing for North and South America, in a statement. "Houston is the fifth largest metro area in the U.S. with a very strong travel market to Asia. We've decided to earn our fair share of the market with a highly competitive product and service that's hard to beat."
The service to Seoul comes as United is adding a second daily nonstop to Tokyo and Air China is expanding its Houston-Beijing service to daily frequencies. There's clearly huge demand for air connections between Houston and East Asia.

This news also comes as the Houston Airport System announces that records were broken in 2013:
According to a 2013 year-end traffic report released today by the Houston Airport System, passenger traffic has risen to record-setting levels in two key areas: overall passenger traffic reached an all-time high at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) and international traffic at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) reached levels never before seen in its 45-year history.  The combined passenger totals from both airport facilities is up 1.2 percent over 2012 — from 50.3 million passengers to 50.9 million passengers in 2013.
According to the release, IAH handled 8.9 million international passengers in 2013, an increase of 2.5 percent over 2012. Houston is becoming an increasingly important international destination, which is why Korean Airlines is coming to town. That's a good thing for the city, its economy and its people.

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