SOUTH KOREA. Duty free shopping on so-called ‘Non-landing tourism flights’ or ‘Flights to nowhere’ generated average sales of KW1.2 million (US$1,075) per passenger for Lotte Duty Free in the first quarter of 2021, with the March figure rising to KW1.62 billion (US$1,450), the retailer revealed today.
With outbound and inbound travel heavily restricted by the pandemic, such flights have become a novel way for passengers to experience the joy of flight while also benefiting from duty free allowances. Since Asiana Airlines offered the first destination-less flight on 12 December, seven airlines have operated 75 flights to nowhere that have attracted about 8,000 passengers, Yonhap News Agency reported today, citing the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
“As with overseas departures, duty free purchases are available, and more and more passengers use it as an opportunity for shopping,” Lotte Duty Free said. “The unit price of passengers on a non-landing tour is three times higher than that before the coronavirus. The tariffs imposed on excess [i.e. above the duty free allowance] can also be reduced by -30% (up to KW150,000/US$134) through voluntary reporting, so the burden is not high.”
Currently, the duty free limit per Korean national is US$600 (around KW670,000), and passengers can receive additional tax- and duty free benefits up to a carton of cigarettes, 1…