Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport will have a new destination this summer: Seoul, South Korea. In fact, Korean Air will operate the service between Seoul Incheon and Budapest three-times-weekly to cover the summer tourist season. This will complement existing service offered by LOT Polish Airlines, which was launched September 2019.
According to Routesonline, the new Korean Air service will utilize the Airbus A330-200 and will depart and arrive at the following times from 23 May to 17 October:
- Flight KE971 will be a comfortable daytime service, departing Seoul Incheon at 1200 and arriving in Budapest at 1625
- Flight KE972 will be an overnight flight, departing Budapest at 1830 and arriving at Seoul Incheon at 1230+1
Korean Air’s A330-200 is configured with two classes according to SeatGuru. Prestige class (business class) offers 30 flat bed seats. Each seat is 21.6 inches wide and has a pitch of 74 inches. In economy class, the -200 has 188 seats, each with 18 inches of seat width and 32-33 inches of pitch.
Exciting growth for Budapest
According to Airline Network News and Analysis, this new offering by Korean Air proves the growing demand in the market to and from Northeast Asia. In fact, Budapest’s summer 2020 capacity to Northeast Asia has grown by more than 100% when compared to summer 2019.
Budapest’s main airport now offers non-stop long-haul service to Beijing, Chongqing, Sanya, Seoul, and Shanghai in Northeast Asia. On the other side, the airport has services to Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Toronto. The Middle Eastern carriers also offer service to/from Doha and Dubai.
“It is great to see that there is yet another long-haul flight being launched from Budapest to Seoul in May. The market demand to and from Korea is considerable enough to support these three new weekly flights and the BUD team are fully committed to supporting Korean Air in what is sure to become yet another successful new route.” -Kam Jandu, CCO, Budapest Airport via Airline Network News and Analysis
Competing with LOT
In September, LOT Polish Airlines took off on its first-ever direct flight from Budapest to Seoul, South Korea. The flight utilized a Boeing 787 and marked the first time the Polish airline has launched a route into Asia from anywhere outside of Poland.
This is how the Polish carrier is operating its service:
- LO2001: Budapest to Seoul is an overnight service departing BUD at 1225, arriving in ICN at 0605 (+1 day).
- LO2002: Seoul to Budapest, is a daytime flight departing ICN at 0730 in the morning, arriving in BUD at 1315.
It’s exciting to see increasing service between these two great cities. Rated one of the best in the world, Seoul Incheon is a fantastic airport, while Budapest Airport has been given the title of the best airport in the Region, by Skytrax six consecutive years from 2014 to 2019, based on passenger ratings.
If you had the choice between Star Alliance’s LOT 787 and SkyTeam’s Korean Air A330, which airline would you choose to fly between the two cities? Is aircraft type a factor? Let us know your preference by leaving a comment!
We reached out to both Korean Air and Budapest Airport with requests for comment. At the time of publishing we have not received any responses.
Route details are courtesy of RoutesOnline.