SOUTH KOREA. Incheon International Airport today launched the second phase of its expansion, seven years after it first opened in 2001.
The opening includes a raft of retail stores which have opened under the airport’s new Airstar retail brand. It also features an Internet lounge, massage and sauna, a concept called Traditional Experience Korea, a transit hotel, a movie & news lounge, an Information Technology exhibition, a museum and many other services. In addition check-in counters have been completely relocated by airline alliances to enhance passenger convenience.
The total investment cost KRW4 trillion – around US$4 billion – said Incheon International Airport Corp (IIAC).
Airstar is the embodiment of IIAC’s renewed consumer focus and determination to maximise commercial revenues
The expansion includes a new 4,000m-long third runway which enables landings/take-offs of new aircraft such as the Airbus A380, a concourse with 30 additional gates plus 60 parking spots for passenger and cargo aircraft, a slot increase from 46 to 63, and the opening of Starline – an unmanned underground train travelling from the Main Passenger Terminal and concourse.
The grand opening will increase IIAC’s capacity to 410,000 flight movements a year from the current 240,000, and will enable the airport to handle 44 million passengers and 4.5 million metric tons of cargo a year. IIAC is currently ranked 2nd in international cargo and 10th in international passengers worldwide. Last year it handled 31.5 million passengers, 2.5 million metric tons of cargo and 210,000 flight movements. These numbers have been growing by +8.3% annually, said IIAC.
At present 70 airlines are serving 169 destinations worldwide – a remarkable growth from 47 airlines and 109 cities in 2001.
IIAC said: “The grand opening has laid the foundation for [our] ultimate goal of becoming one of the world’s top three airports, with 100 million annual passenger traffic and eight million tons of cargo traffic. IIAC will continue its quest to become one of the world’s best mega-hubs.”
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