Delta Air Lines’ announcement today that it will launch the first ever service between the Twin Cities and Seoul, South Korea in 2019 was praised by both airport and business leaders, noting the new route will provide fast, convenient access to cities throughout Southeast Asia.
“Air service is a top priority for businesses in determining where to locate facilities and employees,” said Brian Ryks, executive director and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC). “This new route is important not only because of the direct connection it offers to vital South Korean markets but also because travelers can reach dozens of other Asian cities by connecting through Seoul’s Incheon Airport.”
The Seoul route was a priority for the MSP Regional Air Service Partnership (RASP), a collaborative air service development initiative launched in 2017 by the Metropolitan Airports Commission and GREATER MSP. The RASP helps identify air service needs of businesses in the region and supports MAC efforts to engage airlines that could potentially serve those markets. The RASP is chaired by Thomson Reuters Executive Vice President-Operations Rick King and former U.S. Bank Chief Executive Officer Richard Davis.
“Our greater MSP business community is thrilled that Delta has decided to add direct service between this market and Seoul, South Korea. It enhances our region’s global access and reach, and significantly increases our economic competitiveness,” stated Michael Langley, CEO of GREATER MSP.
Seoul will be the second city in Asia with direct service from MSP International Airport. Delta Air Lines also flies between MSP and Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan.
Currently, the 16 airlines operating at MSP offer direct service to 163 routes, 136 domestic and 27 international. Multiple airlines serve a record 58 of those routes, keeping fares competitive and providing schedule and service options for travelers.
In addition to the two Asian markets, MSP also enjoys direct scheduled service to several cities in Europe: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Frankfurt, Germany; London, England; Paris, France; and Reykjavik, Iceland.
MSP set a new passenger record in 2017, with more than 38 million people traveling through the nation’s 16th busiest airport. The airport is Delta Air Lines’ second largest hub, and the home base of Sun Country Airlines. Since January 2016, 11 airlines have added 48 new routes at MSP. In both 2016 and 2017, MSP was named Best Airport In North America in its size category by Airports Council International, based on traveler feedback.
The Metropolitan Airports Commission is a public corporation of the state of Minnesota. The MAC owns and operates seven airports in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, including Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. All together MAC airports generate nearly $17 billion a year for the area economy and support more than 87,000 jobs. The MAC is funded through rents and user fees generated from airport users, not from income or property taxes.
GREATER MSP is a private-public partnership with the mission to accelerate job growth and capital investment in the Greater MSP Region. It partners with economic development organizations throughout the region to develop strategy, brand and market the region, and serve as coordinator for business retention, expansion, and recruitment projects. Learn more at www.greatermsp.org.