Routes Insights: Air Premia, VietJet And American Airlines

air premia 787-9
Credit: Joe Pries Aviation

Air Premia, VietJet and American Airlines plan to add new routes from, to and within the Asia-Pacific region over the coming months.

Seoul-San Francisco

South Korean hybrid carrier Air Premia is set to launch nonstop service between Seoul and San Francisco during the upcoming northern summer season, establishing itself as the fourth airline connecting the two cities directly.

Starting on May 17, the carrier plans to operate 4X-weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from Seoul Incheon International Airport to San Francisco International Airport. The 5,642-mi. (4,903-nm) route will be serviced by Boeing 787-9 aircraft. Air Premia will enter into competition with Asiana Airlines, Korean Air and United Airlines on this route.

Commencing operations during the COVID crisis in 2021, Air Premia initially focused on domestic and dedicated belly cargo flights. It has since expanded to serve seven international destinations. In North America, the airline currently offers six flights per week to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and four roundtrips to both Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

While the Seoul-Honolulu route began on Dec. 31 and is scheduled until March 4, Air Premia intends to boost the LAX route to daily from May 16, increasing its South Korea-U.S. weekly seat capacity from around 6,180 to about 9,270, according to OAG Schedules Analyser data.

Air Premia currently operates with a fleet of four 787-9s in service and one in storage. The airline aims to expand its fleet to 10 aircraft by 2025 and 15 by 2027.


Vietnamese LCC VietJet has submitted plans to initiate scheduled flights to Hiroshima starting March 31, becoming its sixth regular destination in Japan. The airline already connects to Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka Kansai, Tokyo Haneda and Tokyo Narita.

As per OAG Schedules Analyser data, VietJet will operate flights twice a week between Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport and Hiroshima Airport, utilizing Airbus A320 aircraft. This service will be the exclusive nonstop option between the two locations.

The decision to establish scheduled Hanoi-Hiroshima flights follows VietJet's announcement during the G7 Summit last May and initial charter flights to the destination. This move expands the airline's Japanese network to eight routes, five originating from Hanoi and three from Ho Chi Minh City.

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By early April, VietJet aims to provide approximately 27,558 two-way weekly seats between Vietnam and Japan, securing a 34.7% capacity share in the market. Vietnam Airlines holds the largest seat share at 41.6%, followed by All Nippon Airways at 12.9% and Japan Airlines at 10.9%.

In total, the seat capacity between the two countries during the first week of April is projected to exceed 79,500 two-way seats, indicating a more than 9% increase compared to pre-pandemic levels. VietJet's seat offerings to Japan during this period have tripled.

Dallas-Fort Worth-Brisbane

American Airlines is expanding its South Pacific network with the introduction of flights to Brisbane, Australia, in the upcoming winter 2024-25 season. This move enhances the Oneworld alliance member’s presence in Australia and New Zealand.

The new route from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Brisbane Airport (BNE)—joining existing flights to Sydney and Auckland—is set to commence operations on Oct. 27, utilizing Boeing 787-9 aircraft for the daily seasonal service, covering a distance of 8,338 mi. (7,246 nm).

This will be American’s farthest nonstop route, surpassing the Los Angeles (LAX)-Sydney flights. The expansion to Brisbane follows recent route successes for the airport since the pandemic. After losing direct links to Honolulu with Hawaiian Airlines and to LAX with Virgin Australia at the onset of the crisis, Qantas resumed scheduled BNE-LAX flights in April 2022 and United Airlines has since opened two new routes.

The joint venture between American and Qantas is expected to create a comprehensive network connecting the U.S. and South Pacific, further strengthening their position in the market.

Overall, American and Qantas currently provide almost 40,000 two-way weekly seats between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand, giving the partners a combined 32.9% capacity share of the market. United has a 31.3% share, with Air New Zealand at 17.5% and Delta 11%.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.

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