When I was a kid I had a toy airplane with some strange, apparently English word on it that I could never pronounce. No matter, I flew it around the house on international flight between bedrooms just like any of my other flying toys. It wasn't until years later that I learned the strange word was German: “Lufthansa.”
Lufthansa started servicing Busan in 2007 and the German carrier is the only airline in Europe that flies out of Busan and is enjoying a growing number of Korean customers. Enough so that it recently increased flights between Busan and Munich to five times a week.
Another positive move in the flight business is with Korea's local budget carriers and the increased competition for S.E. Asia. According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand more than 800,000 Korean's flew to Thailand last year. So, look for some better deals on flights there in the future.
Of Korea’s four budget carriers – which include Air Busan and Eastar Jet – two now offer regular flights to Southeast Asia, while Air Busan has plans to offer service there this year. Busan Air also offers regular flights to Jeju as well as Fukuoka and Osaka in Japan.
Sadly, both carriers still have no online presence in English so you will have to go the travel agent route if you want to take advantage of their cheaper service
And for those of you used to flying back home to North America on Northwest Airlines, keep in mind the name will be changing as the merger with Delta Airlines is now complete and all aircraft will be sporting the "Delta" logo.
And for God's sake, regardless of which airline you choose, don't sew any explosives into your underwear –imagine the implications if one of your friends decides to give you a wedgie at the airport.
|Air Busan||Fukuoka [begins 29 March], Osaka-Kansai [begins 25 April]||Northwest Airlines||Tokyo-Narita|
|Air China||Beijing-Capital, Hangzhou|
|Asiana Airlines||Beijing-Capital, Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Manila, Osaka-Kansai, Saipan, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenyang, Weihai||Philippine Airlines||Manila|
|Cebu Pacific||Cebu||Sakhalinskie Aviatrassy||Yuzhno Sakhalinsk|
|China Eastern Airlines||Shanghai-Pudong||Shandong Airlines||Qingdao|
|China Southern Airlines||Shenyang||Shanghai Airlines||Shanghai-Pudong|
|Dragonair||Hong Kong||Thai Airways International||Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi|
|Japan Airlines||Osaka-Kansai [ends 12 January], Tokyo-Narita||TransAsia Airways||Taipei-Taoyuan|
|Korean Air||Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Fukuoka, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Manila, Nagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Kansai, Qingdao, Sapporo-Chitose, Shanghai-Pudong, Siem Reap [begins 1 January], Tokyo-Narita, Xi'an [seasonal]||Vietnam Airlines||Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City|
|Air Busan||Jeju, Seoul-Gimpo|
|Korean Air||Jeju, Seoul-Gimpo, Seoul-Incheon|