Asiana Airlines will suspend San Francisco flights from March 1 to April 14

Oct 25, 2019

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South Korean carrier Asiana Airlines will suspend flights between Seoul and San Francisco from March 1 to April 14, 2020, the airline said in a statement to TPG on Friday. 

Routes Online had reported initially on the suspension, the result of a 2013 crash that left three dead. An Asiana Boeing 777 landed just short of the runway in San Francisco on July 6, 2013. On Thursday, a South Korean court upheld a penalty that will force the airline to suspend the route for 45 days. The court pinned blame for the crash on insufficient pilot training, according to Reuters, and said the suspension was a punishment commensurate with Asiana’s culpability.

According to the Reuters report, Asiana officials believe the temporary suspension will cost the airline about $9.3 million.

The airline operates one flight per day on the route, and had tried to have the penalty withdrawn. TPG has been unable to reach Asiana to find out how affected passengers will be accommodated. We do know that, Reuters reported, South Korea’s transport ministry will ask other airlines to use larger aircraft to cover the San Francisco to Seoul route during the suspension. That will not be easy, however, as airlines typically manage the route network of their long-haul aircraft tightly and substitutions aren’t easy.

Asiana has been in a tough financial position for some time, with high debt and falling demand, and the route suspension is only going to compound the situation.

Featured photo by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy.

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