City of Busan Temporarily Takes Over Limousine Bus Service to Gimhae Airport Amid Operator’s Withdraw

The limousine bus service between Gimhae Airport and downtown Busan has ceased operations due to persistent financial losses, just ahead of the holiday season.

In response, the city of Busan will temporarily manage the service to prevent inconvenience for airport passengers and will seek a new operator soon.

On July 1, Busan City announced that Taeyoung Airport Limousine, the private company running the service, halted operations and returned its limited license. Taeyoung Airport Limousine had been operating under a six-year limited license from Busan City since March 2008, spanning 16 years.

The company had faced chronic deficits, exacerbated by factors such as the opening of the Busan-Gimhae Light Rail Transit, increased private car usage, the COVID-19 pandemic, and inexpensive airport parking. These challenges led to a significant drop in passengers, from 505,158 in 2018 to just 93,001 last year — a reduction to one-fifth over five years.

To minimize disruption for Gimhae Airport users, the city of Busan will operate four-seat buses starting mid-month, following a route similar to the previous limousine service from Gimhae Airport to Haeundae.

Given the challenges in continuing to operate the service, the city plans to hold a public contest to find a new airport bus operator this month and finalize the selection as soon as possible.

However, industry analysis suggests that it may be difficult to find a willing operator, given the anticipated financial losses during the current economic downturn.

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Haps Staff
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