Polish airline LOT has launched five new air passenger services; in addition to Seoul, new flights will also be taking off for Prague, Belgrade, Stuttgart and Sofia.

This is the first time that Seoul will be accessible via a direct air passenger service, and according to LOT CEO Rafal Milczarski this not only bears significance with relation to tourism, but also the economy. Boeing 787 Dreamliners will be travelling the route on three days a week, on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, from 22 September.

According to Mr. Milczarski, in addition to the long-haul service, other so-called feeder services will also be launched during the summer schedule, which begins next March. LOT services to Prague and Stuttgart will be taking off twice-a-day, excluding the weekends, while flights to Sofia and Belgrade will by ferrying passengers once on ever day of the week.

The air passenger services to Brussels and Bucharest, which LOT was originally planning to launch in September, have been postponed until next March in view of the ban on Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. During the winter schedule there will be three flights-a-week to New York instead of the current four, then from the summer there will be flights taking off every day to the American metropolis, while flights to Chicago will only be available during the summer period.

In addition to the increased number of flights and destinations, the airline will also be putting 50 pilots and three new Embraer E-Jet regional aircraft into commission at its Budapest base, as well as employing 150 new cabin crew staff.

At the press conference held to announce the new services in Budapest on Wednesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s State Secretary for Information and the International Representation of Hungary Tamás Menczer stressed: “It is evident that Hungary is present with increasing weight on the map of Europe and the world”. “The world is experiencing continuous change, new challenges are continuously appearing; Hungary wants to be the winner of this process, and that requires good transport links”, he explained. The State Secretary indicated that over 350 billion forints (EUR 1.1 billion) in investment has arrived in Hungary from South Korea so far this year alone, making the East Asian country Hungary’s largest foreign investor.

In addition, tourism is also brisk: the number of South Korean tourists visiting Hungary increased by 69 percent between 2015 and 2018, and in that year 176 thousand South Korean tourists arrived in the country and spent 253 thousand guest nights here. At the event, CEO of Budapest Airport Jost Lammers also welcomed the launching of the new air passenger routes.

(MTI/Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)