Incheon International Airport

Incheon International Airport (IIA) (IATA: ICN, ICAO: RKSI) (sometimes referred to as Seoul–Incheon International Airport) is the largest airport in South Korea, the primary airport serving the Seoul Capital Area, and one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. Since 2005, it has been rated the best airport worldwide by Airports Council International every year.[2] It is also rated as the world's cleanest airport and the world's best international transit airport by Skytrax.[3]

The airport has a golf course, spa, private sleeping rooms, an ice skating rink, a casino, indoor gardens, and a Museum of Korean Culture. Airport authorities claim that average departure and arrival takes 19 minutes and 12 minutes, respectively, as compared to worldwide average of 60 minutes and 45 minutes, respectively, ranking it among of the fastest airports in the world for customs processing.[4] Its duty-free shopping mall has been rated the world's best for three years in a row in 2013 by Business Traveller.[5] Incheon International Airport also claims that it has only a 0.0001% baggage mishandling rate.[6]

The airport opened for business on March 29, 2001 to replace the older Gimpo International Airport, which now serves mostly domestic destinations and shuttle flights to several East Asian metropolitan areas including Tokyo, Osaka, Beijing, Shanghai, and Taipei.

Incheon International Airport is located west of Incheon's city center, on an artificially created piece of land between Yeongjong and Yongyu Islands. The two islands were originally separated by shallow sea. That area between the two islands was reclaimed for the construction project, effectively connecting the once separate Yeongjong and Yongyu islands. The reclaimed area as well as the two islands are all part of Jung-gu, an administrative district of Incheon.

The airport holds a record of being ranked the Best Airport Worldwide for 11 consecutive years by the Airports Council International (ACI)'s Airport Service Quality Award from 2005 to 2016, and has also been rated the world's best among airports of its size (25–40 million passengers) and region (Asia-Pacific) since 2012 due to the institution's decision to discontinue the Best Airport Worldwide category.

Incheon International Airport's terminal has 111 boarding gates altogether, with 44 in Terminal 1, 30 in Concourse A (connected to terminal 1), and 37 in Terminal 2.

The airport was constructed to share the demand for air transport in the 21st century and to serve as a hub airport in Northeast Asia.[7]

Incheon Airport
Inside the Incheon Airport
Incheon International Airport
Incheon Airport Logo
Aerial view of Incheon International Airport
Airport type Public
Owner Incheon International Airport Corporation
Operator Incheon International Airport Corporation
Serves Seoul Metro Area
Location Jung District, Incheon, South Korea
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 7 m / 23 ft
Coordinates 37°27′48″N 126°26′24″E / 37.46333°N 126.44000°ECoordinates: 37°27′48″N 126°26′24″E / 37.46333°N 126.44000°E
ICN is located in South Korea
Location in South Korea
ICN is located in Asia
ICN (Asia)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
15R/33L 3,750 12,303 Asphalt
15L/33R 3,750 12,303 Asphalt
16/34 4,000 13,123 Asphalt
Number Length Surface
m ft
H1 19 63 Concrete
Statistics (2017)
Aircraft movements 360,295
Passengers 62,082,032
Tonnes of cargo 2,921,691
Statistics from IIAC[1]
Incheon International Airport
Revised Romanization Incheon gukje gonghang
McCune–Reischauer Inch'ŏn kukche konghang


Yeongjong location
Location of Incheon International Airport on reclaimed land joining Yeongjong and Yongyu Islands
Incheon International Airport flom Airplane
Incheon Airport from the air, 2003

After the Seoul Olympics of 1988, international air traffic to Korea increased. In the 1990s, it became apparent that Gimpo International Airport could not cope with the increase in air traffic. To reduce the load on Gimpo International Airport, the government decided to build a new airport.

The new airport was originally planned to be located in Cheongju, 124 km from Seoul, but due to its distance, it was opposed by Seoul and Gyeonggi citizens. Hwaseong was the other choice, but it was also rejected due to similar reasons. Finally the area chosen was Incheon.

In November 1992, the construction of the Incheon airport began on reclaimed land between Yeongjong Island and Youngyu Island, and took eight years to finish, with an additional six months for testing. Completion was initially scheduled for 1997 but delayed due to the economic crisis. The airport was officially opened on March 29, 2001.

On 15 November 2006, the Airbus A380 landed at the airport as part of the first leg of its certification trip. Tests on the runways, taxiways, and ramps showed that the airport could handle the aircraft.

To further upgrade service, Incheon and major Korean logistics firm Hanjin Corporation (parent company of Korean Air) agreed on January 10, 2008 to build Yeongjong Medical Centre, which was completed in 2012. This hospital serves nearby residents and some of the 30,000 medical tourists who come to Korea annually.[8]


Located 48 km (30 mi) west of Seoul, the capital and the largest city of South Korea, Incheon International Airport is the main hub for Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air, and Polar Air Cargo. The airport serves as a hub for international civilian air transportation and cargo traffic in East Asia. In 2016, the Incheon International Airport was the fifth busiest airport in the world and third in Asia by cargo traffic, and 19th in the world and eighth in Asia by passenger traffic. In 2016, the airport served a total of 57,849,814 passengers.

The airport opened for business in early 2001 to replace the older Gimpo International Airport, which now serves mostly domestic destinations plus shuttle flights to alternate airports in China, Japan, and Taiwan.

Construction phases

Incheon Airport Expansion Plan
Future expansion plans for Incheon International Airport

The airport was originally planned to be built in three phases, incrementally increasing airport capacity as the demand grew. This was changed, however, to four phases after the airport was opened.

Phase 1

In Phase 1, the airport had a capacity of 30 million passengers annually, and a cargo capacity of 1.7 million metric tonnes annually. In this phase, a passenger terminal with a floor space of 496,000 square metres (5,340,000 sq ft), two parallel runways, a control tower, an administrative building, a transportation centre (the Integrated Transportation Centre, designed by Terry Farrell and Partners and Samoo Architects & Engineers), and integrated operations centre, three cargo terminals, international business centre, and a government office building were constructed.

Phase 2

Phase 2 construction began in 2002, and was originally expected to be completed in December 2008. However, in an attempt to have the airport ready for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which took place in August 2008, the schedule was modified, and Phase 2 construction was completed on 20 June 2008. During this construction phase, a third parallel 4,000-metre-long (13,000 ft) runway and a 13-hectare cargo terminal area were added. A 16.5-hectare concourse connected to the main passenger building via two parallel 870-metre-long (2,850 ft) underground passageways was added, with a Mitsubishi Crystal Mover shuttle train APM shuttling passengers between the concourse and the main terminal.[9]

Many long-distance foreign carriers were moved to the new concourse, with Korean Air and Asiana Airlines continuing to use the existing terminal.

Phase 3

The South Korean government invested 4 trillion until 2017 to expand Incheon International Airport. The second passenger terminal was constructed in the northern field of the airport, and its existing cargo terminal and other infrastructures were expanded. The terminals are connected to each other by the underground "Starline" train. Also, a Landside Connecting system (Bus shuttle) is used for airport employees and departing passengers who don't come to the right terminal. After completion, Incheon International Airport is able to handle 62 million passengers and 5.8 million tons of cargo a year, up from the previous capacity of 44 million passengers and 4.5 million tons. Construction began in 2011 and was completed in 2017. The terminal opened on January 18th 2018. Incheon's expansion also include adding more aprons to park planes and extending a railway line to the city center of Seoul about 70 kilometres (43 mi) away from the airport. The airport also signed an agreement to build a resort called "Inspire" which includes 6-star hotels, theme parks, and a casino.[10]

Phase 4

Estimated to be completed in 2020, this is the final and the ultimate construction stage. Upon completion, the airport will have two passenger terminals, four satellite concourses, 128 gates, and five parallel runways (one exclusively for cargo flights).[11] It will be able to handle 100 million passengers and 7 million metric tonnes of cargo annually, with further possible expansions. The airport is projected to be transformed into one of the ten busiest airports in the world by 2020.


RKSI Layout
Airport layout

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 (measuring 496,000 square meters) is the largest airport terminal in area in South Korea. Terminal 1 was designed by Curtis W. Fentress, FAIA, RIBA of Fentress Architects. It is 1,060 metres (3,480 ft) long, 149 metres (489 ft) wide, and 33 metres (108 ft) high. Its construction cost was 1.3816 trillion South Korean Won. The terminal has 44 boarding ports (all of which can accommodate the Airbus A380), 50 customs inspection ports, 2 biological quarantine counters, 6 stationary and 14 portable passenger quarantine counters, 120 arrival passport inspection counters, 8 arrival security ports, 28 departure security ports, 252 check in counters, and 120 departure passport inspection counters. In 2015, an automatic check-in counter lane was introduced, where people traveling via Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and China Southern Airlines can use. Instead of having airport staff at the counter, there is a machine where travelers input their flight information, scan their passports, receive their flight tickets and lastly, load the luggage onto the conveyor. This system was planned to be introduced in Terminal 2, but in May 2015 Incheon Airport used one of the counter islands for the unmanned luggage handling system.[12]


Concourse building under construction

The passenger concourse was completed at the end of May 2008. It is connected to Terminal 1 by two parallel 870-metre-long (2,850 ft) underground passageways equipped with IATs (Intra Airport Transit). It has 30 gates and six lounges (Asiana Airlines/Star Alliance, Singapore Airlines/Star Alliance, Cathay Pacific/Oneworld, Japan Airlines/Oneworld, Korean Air/SkyTeam, and China Eastern Airlines/SkyTeam).

Terminal 2

A new passenger terminal opened on January 18, 2018. Korean Air, KLM, Delta Air Lines, and Air France are relocated from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2. Other SkyTeam members such as China Eastern Airlines will be served in Terminal 2 later on.[13]

Airlines and destinations


Aeroflot Khabarovsk, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Vladivostok, Yuzhno–Sakhalinsk
Aeroméxico Mexico City
AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur–International
Air Astana Almaty, Astana
Air Canada Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver
Air China Beijing–Capital, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dandong, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Wenzhou, Yanji
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air India Delhi, Hong Kong, Mumbai
Air Macau Macau
Air Seoul Da Nang,[14] Fukuoka (begins 27 August 2018),[15] Guam, Hiroshima, Hong Kong, Kalibo, Kota Kinabalu, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Osaka–Kansai, Shizuoka, Siem Reap, Takamatsu, Tokyo–Narita, Toyama, Ube, Yonago
Seasonal: Sapporo–Chitose (begins 20 July 2018)[14]
Alitalia Rome–Fiumicino
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth
Asiana Airlines Almaty, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Barcelona (begins 30 August 2018),[16] Beijing–Capital, Busan, Cebu, Changchun, Changsha, Chengdu, Chicago–O'Hare, Chongqing, Clark, Da Nang, Dalian, Delhi, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Harbin, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Istanbul–Atatürk, Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta, Khabarovsk, Koror, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manila, Miyazaki, Nagoya–Centrair, Naha, Nanjing, New York–JFK, Osaka–Kansai, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Qingdao, Rome–Fiumicino, Saipan, San Francisco, Sapporo–Chitose, Seattle/Tacoma, Sendai, Shanghai–Pudong, Shenzhen, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei–Taoyuan, Tashkent, Tianjin, Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita, Venice,[16] Weihai, Xi'an, Yancheng, Yanji, Yantai, Yuzhno–Sakhalinsk
Seasonal charter: Oslo–Gardermoen[17]
British Airways London–Heathrow
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong, Taipei–Taoyuan
Cebu Pacific Cebu, Kalibo, Manila
China Airlines Kaohsiung, Taipei–Taoyuan
China Eastern Airlines Changsha, Jinan,[18] Kunming, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shanghai–Pudong, Weihai, Xi'an, Yancheng, Yantai
China Southern Airlines Beijing–Capital, Changsha, Changchun, Dalian, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Harbin, Mudanjiang, Shanghai–Pudong, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Yanji, Zhengzhou
Seasonal: Nanning, Urumqi
Czech Airlines Prague
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Detroit, Seattle/Tacoma
Eastar Jet Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Da Nang, Fukuoka, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Ibaraki (begins 31 July 2018), Kagoshima, Kota Kinabalu, Miyazaki, Okinawa, Osaka–Kansai, Saipan, Sapporo–Chitose, Taipei–Taoyuan, Tokyo–Narita
Seasonal: Vladivostok[19]
Emirates Dubai–International
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa, Tokyo–Narita[20]
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
EVA Air Kaohsiung, Taichung, Taipei–Taoyuan
Finnair Helsinki
Garuda Indonesia Denpasar/Bali, Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta
Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu
Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong
HK Express Hong Kong
JC International Airlines Siem Reap
Jeju Air Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Cebu, Chiang Mai,[21] Da Nang, Fukuoka, Guam, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jiamusi, Kagoshima,[22] Kaohsiung, Kota Kinabalu, Macau, Manila, Matsuyama, Nagoya–Centrair, Naha, Osaka–Kansai, Qingdao, Saipan, Sanya, Sapporo–Chitose, Shijiazhuang, Taipei–Taoyuan, Tokyo–Narita, Vientiane, Vladivostok, Weihai, Yantai[23]
Jetstar Pacific Da Nang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City
Jin Air Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Cebu, Clark, Da Nang, Fukuoka, Guam, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Kitakyushu, Kota Kinabalu, Macau, Okinawa–Naha, Osaka–Kansai, Saipan, Sapporo–Chitose, Taipei–Taoyuan, Tokyo–Narita, Vientiane
Seasonal: Cairns, Johor Bahru[24]
KLM Amsterdam
Korean Air Amsterdam, Aomori, Atlanta, Auckland, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Barcelona, Beijing–Capital, Brisbane, Busan, Cebu, Changsha, Chiang Mai, Chicago–O'Hare, Colombo, Da Nang, Daegu, Dalian, Dallas/Fort Worth, Delhi, Denpasar/Bali, Dubai–International, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Guam, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Hanoi, Hefei, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Huangshan, Istanbul–Atatürk, Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta, Jinan, Kagoshima, Kathmandu, Komatsu, Koror, Kuala Lumpur–International, Kunming, Las Vegas, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid, Malé, Manila, Milan–Malpensa, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Mumbai, Nadi, Nagoya–Centrair, Naha, Nanning, New York–JFK, Nha Trang, Niigata, Okayama, Osaka–Kansai, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Prague, Qingdao, Rome–Fiumicino, San Francisco, Sapporo–Chitose, Seattle/Tacoma, Shanghai–Pudong, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei–Taoyuan, Tashkent, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Tianjin, Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson, Ulaanbaatar, Vancouver, Vienna, Vladivostok, Washington–Dulles, Weihai, Wuhan, Xi'an, Xiamen, Yangon, Yanji, Zhengzhou, Zagreb (begins 1 September 2018),[25] Zürich
Charter: Mataram–Lombok[26]
Seasonal: Akita, Saint Petersburg, Irkutsk, Urumqi[27]
Seasonal charter: Marseille,[28] Oslo–Gardermoen, Sanya
Lao Airlines Vientiane
Lion Air Charter: Batam[29]
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw–Chopin
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International
MIAT Mongolian Airlines Ulaanbaatar
Pan Pacific Airlines Cebu,[30] Kalibo
Peach Aviation Okinawa–Naha, Osaka–Kansai, Tokyo–Haneda
Philippine Airlines Cebu, Clark, Kalibo, Manila, Puerto Princesa,[31] Tagbilaran
Seasonal: Bacolod
Philippines AirAsia Cebu, Kalibo, Manila
Qatar Airways Doha
Royal Brunei Airlines Bandar Seri Begawan[32]
S7 Airlines Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok
Scoot Singapore, Taipei–Taoyuan
Shandong Airlines Jinan, Qingdao, Yantai
Shenzhen Airlines Shenzhen
Sichuan Airlines Chengdu
Singapore Airlines Los Angeles (ends 30 November 2018),[33] Singapore
Sky Angkor Airlines Siem Reap, Sihanoukville
Spring Airlines Shanghai–Pudong, Shijiazhuang
Thai AirAsia X Bangkok–Don Mueang
Thai Airways Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Hong Kong, Taipei–Taoyuan
Tianjin Airlines Tianjin
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk
T'way Air Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Da Nang, Fukuoka, Guam, Haikou, Ho Chi Minh City, Jinan, Kaohsiung, Kumamoto, Macau, Naha, Oita, Qingdao, Osaka–Kansai, Saga, Saipan, Sapporo–Chitose, Taichung, Tokyo–Narita, Vientiane, Weihai[34]
Uni Air Taipei–Taoyuan
United Airlines San Francisco
Uzbekistan Airways Tashkent
VietJet Air Da Nang, Hai Phong, Nha Trang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam Airlines Da Nang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang[35]
XiamenAir Xiamen
Yakutia Airlines Seasonal: Blagoveshchensk, Ulan–Ude, Yakutsk


Air China Cargo Beijing–Capital, Shanghai–Pudong
Air France Cargo Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air Incheon Jinan, Qingdao, Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita, Ulaanbaatar, Yantai, Yuzhno–Sakhalinsk
AirBridgeCargo Moscow–Domodedovo, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Saint Petersburg
ANA Cargo Okinawa—Naha, Osaka–Kansai, Tokyo–Narita
Asiana Cargo Anchorage, Atlanta, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Beijing–Capital, Brussels, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, London–Stansted, Los Angeles, Manila, Miami, Milan–Malpensa, Moscow–Domodedovo, Mumbai, Nagoya–Centrair, New York–JFK, Osaka–Kansai, Saint Petersburg, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Shanghai–Pudong, Singapore, Tianjin, Tokyo–Narita, Vienna, Yantai
Atlas Air Vancouver
Cargolux Luxembourg City
Cathay Pacific Cargo Hong Kong, Osaka–Kansai
Centurion Air Cargo Miami
China Cargo Airlines Shanghai–Pudong
China Postal Airlines Beijing–Capital, Xi'an, Yantai
DHL Aviation Anchorage, Cincinnati, Hong Kong, Leipzig/Halle, Los Angeles,[36] Singapore
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai–Al Maktoum, Osaka–Kansai
Etihad Cargo Abu Dhabi
FedEx Express Anchorage, Beijing–Capital, Guangzhou, Los Angeles, Memphis, Shanghai–Pudong
Hong Kong Airlines Cargo Hong Kong
Korean Air Cargo Amsterdam, Atlanta, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Basel/Mulhouse, Beijing–Capital, Bogotá, Boston, Brussels, Campinas, Chicago–O'Hare, Chennai, Cheongju, Copenhagen, Dallas/Fort Worth, Delhi,[37] Frankfurt, Guadalajara, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Istanbul–Atatürk, Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta, Kuala Lumpur–International, Lima, London–Heathrow, London–Stansted, Los Angeles, Manila, Miami, Milan–Malpensa, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Mumbai, Navoi, New York–JFK, Osaka–Kansai, Oslo–Gardermoen, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Penang, Qingdao, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Shanghai–Pudong, Singapore, Stockholm–Arlanda, Sydney, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver, Vienna, Xiamen, Zaragoza
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Krasnoyarsk
Nippon Cargo Airlines Osaka–Kansai, Shanghai–Pudong, Tokyo–Narita
Okay Airways Cargo Tianjin
Qantas Freight Chicago–O'Hare, Sydney
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha
SF Airlines Zhengzhou
Silk Way Airlines Baku
Sky Lease Cargo Miami
Suparna Airlines Hangzhou, Qingdao, Shanghai–Pudong
Turkish Airlines Cargo Almaty, Bishkek, Istanbul–Atatürk, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tashkent [38]
UPS Airlines Almaty, Anchorage, Hong Kong, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Taipei–Taoyuan, Zhengzhou
Uzbekistan Airways Cargo Tehran–Imam Khomeini
Volga-Dnepr Airlines Krasnoyarsk

Traffic and statistics

Korean Air planes awaiting departure
Incheon Airport4
Korean Air A330 taxiing out at Incheon Airport

In 2016, the airport was the world's fifth busiest airport by cargo traffic and third in Asia, and the world's 19th busiest airport by passenger traffic and eighth in Asia. In 2016, the airport served a total of 57,849,814 passengers.

Top destinations

Busiest international routes (2015)
Rank Airport Passengers Operating Airlines
1 Hong Kong 3,073,664 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Eastar Jet, Jeju Air, Jin Air, Air India, Cathay Pacific, Ethiopian Airlines, HK Express, Thai Airways
2 Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi 2,091,049 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Eastar Jet, Jeju Air, Jin Air, T'way Airlines, Thai Airways
3 Osaka–Kansai 1,834,724 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Eastar Jet, Jeju Air, Jin Air, T'way Airlines, Peach
4 Shanghai–Pudong 1,826,338 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Spring Airlines
5 Tokyo–Narita 1,679,920 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Eastar Jet, Jeju Air, Jin Air, T'way Airlines, Japan Airlines, United Airlines
6 Manila 1,405,743 Asiana Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Jeju Air, Korean Air, Philippine Airlines, Philippines AirAsia
7 Taipei–Taoyuan 1,372,985 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Eastar Jet, Jeju Air, Jin Air, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, EVA Air, Mandarin Airlines, Scoot, Thai Airways, Uni Air
8 Qingdao 1,357,597 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air, T'way Airlines, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Shandong Airlines
9 Fukuoka 1,317,312 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Eastar Jet, Jeju Air, Jin Air, T'way Airlines
10 Singapore 1,238,581 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Scoot, Singapore Airlines
11 Beijing–Capital 1,116,852 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Air China, China Southern Airlines
12 Hanoi 1,063,603 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air, Jin Air, VietJet Air, Vietnam Airlines
13 Los Angeles 1,054,387 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines
14 Cebu 893,049 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air, Jin Air, Philippines AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines
15 Ho Chi Minh City 840,760 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, T'way Airlines, VietJet Air, Vietnam Airlines
16 Guam 757,653 Korean Air, Jeju Air, Jin Air, T'way Airlines
17 New York–JFK 680,468 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines
18 Guangzhou 651,301 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, China Southern Airlines
19 Kuala Lumpur 649,984 Korean Air, AirAsia X, Malaysia Airlines
20 San Francisco 646,652 Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines
Source: Korea Airpotal

The top seven domestic destinations are shown below:

Busiest domestic routes (2015)
Rank Airport Passengers
1 Busan 353,268
2 Daegu 119,099
3 Jeju 88,371
Source: KAC Airport statics

Annual traffic

Years Passengers Aircraft


2001 14,542,290 86,807 1,186,015
2002 20,924,171 126,094 1,705,928
2003 19,789,874 130,185 1,843,055
2004 24,084,072 149,776 2,133,444
2005 26,051,466 160,843 2,150,139
2006 28,191,116 182,007 2,336,571
2007 31,227,897 211,404 2,555,580
2008 29,973,522 211,102 2,423,717
2009 28,549,770 198,918 2,313,002
2010 33,478,925 214,835 2,684,499
2011 35,062,366 229,580 2,539,222
2012 38,970,864 254,037 2,456,724
2013 41,482,828 271,224 2,464,385
2014 45,512,099 290,043 2,557,681
2015 49,281,220 305,446 2,595,677
2016 57,765,397 339,673 2,714,341
2017 62,082,032 360,295 2,921,691
Source: IIAC Airport Statistics[1]

Top carriers

In 2015, the twelve carriers with the largest percentage of passengers flying into, out of, or through Incheon are as follows:

Top Carriers (2015)[39]
Rank Carrier Domestic
Total %
1 Korean Air 471,664 14,990,026 15,461,690 31.37%
2 Asiana Airlines 79,016 11,363,072 11,442,088 23.22%
3 Jeju Air 1,761 2,170,003 2,171,764 4.41%
4 Jin Air 2,502 1,787,196 1,789,698 3.63%
5 China Southern Airlines - 1,590,590 1,590,590 3.23%
6 China Eastern Airlines - 1,501,667 1,501,667 3.05%
7 Cathay Pacific - 1,038,164 1,038,164 2.11%
8 Air China - 1,024,053 1,024,053 2.08%
9 Thai Airways International - 851,225 851,225 1.73%
10 Eastar Jet 3,130 833,571 836,701 1.70%
11 T'way Air 1,540 782,022 783,562 1.59%
12 Philippine Airlines - 669,116 669,116 1.36%


Incheon International airport has been the recipient of a number of awards since its opening, including:

  • Best Airport Worldwide at the first Airport Service Quality Awards in 2007.[40]
  • Won the GT Tested Award for Best Airport in the World in January 2007.[41]
  • Named by Global Traveler (GT) as the Best Airport in the World for the second straight year in January 2008.[8]
  • Named World's Best Airport for 2009, in the World Airport Survey results published by Skytrax.
  • In 2012 it was ranked the best airport in the world by Skytrax.[42]
Year Award Category Results Ref
2009 Airport Service Quality Awards
by Airports Council International
Best Airport Worldwide Won [43]
Best Airport in Asia-Pacific Won
Best Airport by Size (25–40 million passengers) Won
2010 Best Airport Worldwide Won [44]
2011 Won [45]

Accidents and incidents

On 16 June 2011, Airbus A321-200 Flight 324 operated by Asiana Airlines HL7763 between Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, China and Incheon International Airport was fired upon by two soldiers of the Republic of Korea Marine Corps as it came in to land at Incheon. A total of 99 rounds were discharged at the aircraft, which was out of range and made a safe landing without sustaining any damage. The soldiers had misidentified the aircraft as belonging to the North Korean military, and were acting on orders that gave them permission to engage without reference to senior officers, following the Bombardment of Yeonpyeong in November 2010.[46]

Ground transport

Bus Station Incheon Airport
A limousine bus at Incheon Airport bound for Jamsil Subway Station in Seoul

Public transport


Airport buses are called limousine buses. Standard limousine buses travel to Gimpo Airport & Songjeong Station.

Intercity buses connect with other towns and cities in Korea.

The Korea City Air Terminal in Gangnam is linked with the airport through limousine buses.[47]

AREX 2000 series EMU with commuter train service


The Airport Railroad Express (AREX and styled as A'REX) has a station located in the Transport Centre, adjacent to the main terminal building. It provides service to Gimpo International Airport and Seoul. Many of the stations along the line provide connections to Incheon Subway, Seoul Metropolitan Subway, and Incheon Airport Maglev.

For departing passengers, Seoul Station City Airport Terminal has check-in and immigration facilities before arrival at the airport.

The Korea Train eXpress (KTX) operated at the same station as AREX but used a different platform. It operated 20 times per day from the airport; twelve times on the Gyeonbu Line, twice on the Gyeonjeon Line, four times on the Honam Line, and twice on the Jeolla Line. The service started in 2014 but was suspended in March 2018 due to low ridership.[48]

The Incheon Airport Maglev opened in February 2016. The first phase is 6.1 km long, spread over six stations, taking riders from the airport toward the south-west of the island where a water park is located. Phase 2 will be 9.7 km long, extending the line to the north-west of the island. Phase 3 will add 37.4 km, transforming the line into a circle.[49][50][51]

Incheon Airport Train Terminal, Korea
Incheon Airport rail terminal for AREX and formerly KTX


A ferry service connects Yeongjong-do to the mainland. However, the dock is located a considerable distance from the airport. An alternative means of transport must be sought upon arriving at the island to be able to get to the airport.[52]


The airport provides a short term parking lot for 4,000 cars and a long-term parking lot for 6,000 cars. Shuttle services connect the long term parking lot to the passenger terminal and the cargo terminal. Car rental is located near the long-term parking lot. A link to the mainland is provided by the toll Yeongjong Bridge and an expressway. A second expressway on the Incheon Bridge connects the island with central Incheon.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Airport Statistics". Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  2. ^ The Korea Herald. "Incheon Airport tops service quality for 9th year". Retrieved 10 May 2015.
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