The latest analysis of OAG, an aviation date provider, illustrated that the Japan-South Korea air network has negatively affected by the recent political conflicts between Japan and South Korea. Visitors from South Korea to Japan were down 7.6% year on year to 561,700 in July 2019, and Korean Air has decided to cut its flight services for Japan considerably.
The graph below clarifies dramatic reduction of seat availability on the Japan-South Korea routes, showing reduction of 47,600 seats on a one-way basis, which were equivalent to 20% of the total availability in the last ten weeks. On a flight frequency basis, 230 flights a week were cut.
More than half of thirteen South Korean airlines flying into Japan have decided to reduce their services for Japan. Jin Air and Air Seoul, for instance, have reduced their services by 40% or more in the past two months. LCCs made earlier decisions than FSCs, as seven LCCs have reduced their services, which accounted for 25% of the total.
As of July 2019, scheduled flights from South Korea flew into 26 local airports in Japan, but eight airports out of them suffered from a 20% or higher decrease in seat availability on their South Korean routes, and a 40% or higher decrease were seen in Kitakyushu, Oita and Yonago. Okinawa with mostly leisure travel demand lost 4,000 seats a week.
OAG has forecasted that the Japan-South Korea network can be recovered quickly if the current situation is getting better, however it has also pointed out that the current situation is unusual and will possibly influence the global market if the situation continues.