British Airways will be taking one of its biggest ever press parties to Seoul this weekend to publicise the launch of its major new route to the South Korean capital.
Around 30 members of the national business press, the travel media and key European titles will join the flight piloted by Chris Hanson, flight training manager 777/787.
He will wave British and South Korean flags from the cockpit when the plane lands at Seoul’s multi-award-winning Incheon Airport.
The new route will be celebrated by a gala reception for 150 guests on Monday night, with the entertainment provided by Korean violinist Jenny Bae, a global phenomenon in the world of classical music.
Tickets for the route are selling well, helped by the fact that an introductory offer for Club World returns has been priced at £777 to capitalise on the Koreans’ association of the number 7 with good luck. Coincidentally this feelgood factor extends to the Seoul route’s flight number: BA17.
The launch of the route represents another step in the delivery of BA’s promise to expand its route network to the growth markets of Asia following IAG’s purchase of bmi and its subsequent integration into BA.
South Korea’s GDP per capita is four times that of China and the UK is its second largest EU trading partner after Germany and so the new service stands to capitalise on strong business demand but leisure traffic is likely to be significant too.
Keith Williams, British Airways’ CEO, said: “When we decided to launch Seoul, we were basing it on the strong demand from business travellers in both directions given the city’s strong economic base.
“That demand remains, but we couldn’t have foreseen the enormous response to the current Gangnam Style phenomenon when we announced the route. It is really helping to put Seoul on the map for UK travellers looking for an exciting and fun destination.”