Many related industries have been hit hard by the rapid decline in demand for air travel due to COVID-19. While international flights are gradually re-opening before the vacation season, it will take more time for passenger demand to fully recover.
Incheon Airport is stepping up for the air travel industry that is facing an unprecedented crisis. Currently, Incheon Airport is showcasing various shared growth models for overcoming the crisis together. Let’s take a look at Incheon Airport’s efforts to re-open the roads in the sky that have been closed due to COVID-19!
KRW 50 Billion Worth of Incentives for Airlines!
Catching the public’s attention, Incheon Airport promised to provide KRW 50 billion worth of passenger incentives to quickly restore demand for air travel, which has declined due to the spread of COVID-19, and recover the airport ecosystem. This new incentive program will be offered separately from the government’s support measures for the air travel industry.
The airport extends landing fee discounts for new airlines and flights for up to two years and up to 100% discount on landing fees for late night flights in an effort to encourage use of the nighttime. In addition, the airport is planning to introduce a new passenger incentive program that provides KRW 10,000 per passenger for recovering the number of passengers and discounts 100% of the increase in landing fees for recovering the number of flights.
The airport will also be launching a grand marketing campaign to produce synergistic effects together with airlines. Incheon Airport is planning various marketing activities such as overseas presentations, joint advertisements, and road shows, in addition to promotional events such as airline re-opening events, passenger prize events, and airline or stakeholder invitations, as well as promotional videos to maximize branding effects and quickly restore air travel demand.
A national support policy is in place, funding airport use fees and employment retention subsidies for aircraft handling occupations such as airlines and ground handling crews.
- Airport use fees
① Reduce or delay the payment of airport use fees (March to May → March to August)
* Applicable when the number of passengers reaches 60% of the number from the year before
* Airport use fees: Landing fees (if not yet exempted), apron fees (airlines), lighting fees, baggage handling fees, boarding stair fees
② Fueling facility rental fee (announced in a risk management meeting on April 1, 2020)
Delay payment for 6 months → 50% reduction (KRW 9.4 billion, March to August)
③ On-premise business fees (2% of sales)
Delay payment for 3 months starting in March (no interest, approx. KRW 2.51 billion)
- Employment retention subsidies
Designate aircraft handling occupations and duty-free store staff as special employment support occupations
Promise of Stable Employment…Joining Hands with Three Duty-free Stores
Back in June, Incheon Airport signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to Overcome the COVID-19 Crisis and Promote Mutual Cooperation with three large duty-free store companies (Shinsegae, Shilla, and Lotte) in order to overcome the crisis in the airport industry ecosystem caused by COVID-19.
The MOU includes:
△ Implementing support measures announced by the government (June 1) for airport commercial store rent;
△ Stabilizing employment of duty-free businesses; and
△ Working together to restore demand for air travel between Incheon International Airport Corporation and duty-free stores.
Based on the MOU, duty-free companies will also make efforts to retain employees and participate in overcoming the crisis caused by COVID-19. In addition, beginning with the MOU with the three duty-free store companies, Incheon International Airport Corporation promised that it will take the lead in promoting the airport industry ecosystem by signing another MOU with 48 commercial businesses in Incheon Airport such as other duty-free stores and restaurants.
Expand “Rent Reduction” to Commercial Industries in the Airport
Following the MOU with the duty-free stores, Incheon Airport also concluded another Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to Overcome the COVID-19 Crisis and Promote Mutual Cooperation with 11 major food service businesses, as promised.
This MOU includes a plan to cooperate for shared growth with commercial stores in Incheon Airport. The rent reduction percentage has expanded from 50% to 75% for small- and medium-sized enterprises and business owners and from 20% to 50% for medium- and large-sized enterprises. Incheon Airport has prepared a stepping stone to support stores in need, help them retain their employees, and overcome COVID-19 together as one.
“Nurturing Airport Talent” for the Post-COVID-19 Era
As many already know, there are trends being brought on by COVID-19? One is the coming of a safe, untact era as represented by artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and VR in the 4th Industrial Revolution. In line with this trend, Incheon Airport will actively invest in nurturing talented individuals for the future based on the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Based on the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport’s 3rd Aviation Policy Master Plan and Incheon International Airport Corporation’s Vision for 2030, Incheon Airport established the Leading Airport Industry Future Expert Nurturing Plan. Starting in the second half of this year, the airport will provide job training in fields such as AI, big data, future air travel, and culture and art. During this process, it will collaborate with the country’s finest educational institutions such as KAIST and other aviation-specialized universities. We hope that Incheon Airport creates a virtuous cycle through which investing in technology and people will lead to overcoming COVID-19.
Today, we have looked at Incheon Airport’s support measures for the air travel industry to overcome COVID-19. Incheon Airport is the gateway to Korea and also the frontline for disease control and prevention. Incheon Airport will make various efforts to protect the air travel industry while furthering its reputation as a clean airport to stop the spread of COVID-19!