On 23 December t’way air became the fifth South Korean airline to link Seoul Incheon with Saipan, the airport serving the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the US in the western Pacific Ocean. The airline’s daily flights compete with six other daily flights offered by Asiana Airlines, Eastar Jet, Jeju Air and Jin Air.
- t’way air has made Saipan (SPN) its latest new route to be served from Seoul Incheon (ICN). On 23 December the South Korean LCC began daily flights on the 3,124-kilometre route using its 737-800s. The route is already served by four other Korean carriers. Asiana Airlines and Jeju Air both offer double-daily flights while Eastar Jet and Jin Air fly daily services. t’way air’s service departs Seoul at 20:45 and arrives in Saipan at 02:05. The return flight leaves Saipan at 03:05 getting back to South Korea at 06:55. This brings to 18 the number of destinations served non-stop from Seoul by t’way air. Previously in 2016 the carrier had launched new routes from Seoul to Tokyo Narita (March), Qingdao (May), Wenzhou (May) and Da Nang (July). According to local media reports tourist arrivals to the Northern Mariana Islands (of which Saipan is the largest) jumped 25% in November. There was particularly strong growth from South Korea where visitor numbers were up 47%.