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Transport Ministry issues new guideline for LLCs

The Transport Ministry on Wednesday announced a new set of guidelines for low-cost carriers, urging them to allocate seats in order of flights canceled due to natural disasters.

So far, passengers of all delayed or canceled flights were given boarding tickets on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of the time of their original flight.

Kwon Yong-bok, head of aviation policy at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (center) poses with representatives from airlines after an MOU for cooperation between the airlines and the Korea Airports Corporation was signed at KAC headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Kwon Yong-bok, head of aviation policy at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (center) poses with representatives from airlines after an MOU for cooperation between the airlines and the Korea Airports Corporation was signed at KAC headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

The measure was announced to improve services by the budget airlines which have been blamed for causing passenger inconvenience during a three-day airport shutdown on Jejudo Island in January.

About 90,000 passengers were stranded after Jeju International Airport closed operations for nearly three days due to the biggest snowfall in 32 years and high winds. Passengers lashed out at budget airlines and the airport authorities, saying that they seemed to have no protocol for emergency cases. They also shifted the responsibility to customers.

The new guideline advises air carriers to improve their communication system to better notify passengers with more accurate flight information and to prevent them from remaining on standby at the airport. Officials also urged airport operators and air carriers to cooperate more to better deal with massive cancellation of flights due to unexpected natural disasters through real-time information sharing.

By Won Ho-jung (hjwon@heraldcorp.com)
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