Skip to content

Delta service to Korea cheered on by business community

A ribbon-cutting photo with MAC, Delta and Greater MSP officials.Airport, airline and business leaders on Wednesday (Oct. 5) welcomed the resumption of Delta Air Lines service between MSP Airport (MSP) and Seoul-Incheon International Airport (ICN) after a more than two-year hiatus triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 300 passengers – a full flight on the flagship Airbus 350-900 – gathered on the G Concourse as MAC CEO Brian Ryks, MAC Chair Rick King and Paul Buckley, MSP director of Operations for Delta, celebrated the return of service to the Republic of Korea.

Delta's nonstop service to Seoul – MSP's longest international route at more than 6,200 miles and more than 12 hours long – marks the 25th international flight out of 30 to return to MSP. Delta's service to Tokyo-Haneda Airport, is tentatively set to restart in late March 2023.

Delta's MSP-ICN route is initially operating three times per week and will increase to daily service on Oct. 29. (Delta's first MSP-ICN flight was actually on Oct. 2 but the celebration was held on Wednesday.)

MSP's service to ICN began in April 2019 after the MSP Regional Air Service Partnership (RASP), a collaborative air service development initiative between the MAC and Greater MSP, identified the route as a major need for the region's business community.

There are long-standing business ties between Korea and Minnesota – a fact highlighted by Greater MSP CEO Peter Frosch, who also spoke at the celebration.

He noted that Korea is a top 10 export market for Minnesota – several Minnesota-based global companies including Anytime Fitness, Cargill, C.H. Robinson, Medtronic and 3M have operations in Korea.

And a Korean company, CJ CheilJedang, recently purchased an 80 percent stake in the Minnesota-based Schwan's food company. Doosan Bobcat, the maker of front loaders and other construction equipment, also opened an office in Minneapolis recently.

"Our region is excited to restart this flight and resume our efforts to build and strengthen Minnesota's economic and cultural relationships with South Korea," said Frosch. "So thank you to Delta, and all of those who've made this celebration possible."