Massport and Korean Air announced a new nonstop service, set to launch in spring 2019 between Seoul, South Korea and Boston, Massachusetts. It marks the 5th nonstop destination to Asia from Boston Logan International Airport. Other Asian destinations include Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
Korean Air will operate five days a week on a Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner, carrying nearly 270 passengers, including six First Class sleeper suites, 18 Prestige business class sleeper suites, and 245 seats in economy class.
Service is expected to begin between Logan (BOS) and Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN) next spring. Seoul Incheon has been named one of the best airports in the world numerous times since 2000, most recently ranked 2nd by Skytrax.
As the capital of South Korea, Seoul is one of the most populated cities in the world with more than 10 million residents. More than 24,000 individuals of Korean descent live in Massachusetts, including nearly 5,000 in Boston.
Governor Charlie Baker said that his Administration “is committed to supporting access to economic development and growth across the Commonwealth. This new nonstop flight to Seoul will continue to strengthen Massachusetts’ international community and promote additional opportunities for residents, employers and visitors.”
South Korea’s economy is ranked the 11th largest in the world and 4th largest in Asia. The country is also home to the headquarters of 15 Fortune 500 companies such as Samsung, LG Electronics, Hyundai and Kia, representing two of South Korea’s important exports: technology and automobiles.
Korean Air’s Managing Vice President John Jackson said that Boston, “with its numerous universities and colleges, is a growing New England hub attracting companies in fast-growing industries like IT, bio-technology, healthcare, finance and pharmaceuticals.”
In 2016, 66,500 South Koreans came to Massachusetts, spending $115 and generating $7 in state and local taxes, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.
Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn said, “Connecting New England with the global economy is a key part of Massport’s mission. Offering nonstop service to South Korea, one of the world’s largest economies, has been a priority and we are happy that it has come to fruition. We welcome Korean Air to Logan and look forward to connecting not only our economies, but students, families and tourists as well.”
Other business and tourism industry leaders welcomed the news.
Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO Pat Moscaritolo called the announcement “terrific news for Boston’s visitor industry. South Korea is a top ten overseas source market for Boston, sending nearly 70,000 annual visitors to our city, and Korean Air directly services dozens of cities across China and Japan, which means Seoul is poised to become a major feeder city for Boston.”
Boston’s Chief of Economic Development John F. Barros said, “As the City of Boston becomes an increasingly large presence in the global economy, international connections and partners are vital to our success. Commitments like these continue to bolster Boston’s tourism and business communities.”
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce President and CEO James Rooney said, “Connecting Boston with more international destinations increases opportunities for our talented workforce and helps make the Commonwealth more attractive for a variety of industries.
Mass Competitive Partnership President and CEO Dan O’Connell said, “Nonstop air service is key to making Massachusetts competitive in the world marketplace. Connecting the Commonwealth with major international economies has great benefits.”
Sustaining Massachusetts’ competitive edge in international travel is critical to the state’s highly travel-dependent and diversified economy; spread across sectors such as biotechnology, healthcare, education, and medical scientific research. Massport has worked to increase the number of options for international nonstop flights that help make Boston more attractive to foreign companies looking at U.S. facilities in the Commonwealth.
International passengers fly through Logan’s newly renovated Terminal E. The Terminal E Renovation and Enhancements project, completed in 2016, improved the customer experience throughout the terminal. The project added 95,000 square feet of space and renovated three existing gates to accommodate larger aircraft. The project was designed to make Terminal E a true international gateway to Massachusetts and New England.