[Photo by Kim Jae-hoon]
South Korean airliners will be taking off for long-haul destinations next month after staying idled for more than three months.
According to industry sources on Wednesday, full-service carrier Korean Air Lines Co. will reopen 32 international routes out of all 110 next month to ready for border easing and meet rising demand for air cargo deliveries.
The flights will cover only 20 percent of seats usually offered before the virus, but weekly services nearly triple to 146 flights from current 55.
Flights to San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Paris, London, Phnom Penh, and Shenyang will be expanded, and services to 19 cities including Washington, Seattle, Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai will reopen in June. Schedule for five routes to LA, New York, Bangkok, Manila/Jakarta and Tokyo/Narita will be unchanged.
Another full-service name Asiana Airlines Inc. earlier announced 13 international routes will reopen in June. Weekly services also nearly double to 110 from current 53.
One is the route to Seattle, and the others to Chinese cities amid easing restrictions on business travels. Flights to Seattle will be available three days a week after 77 days of closure, and Chinese route operation could be changed upon travel bans.
Asiana Airlines run the most routes to China among Korean carriers before the COVID-19 outbreak. It aims to increase its flight operation to 17 percent in June from current 8 percent.
Budget carriers are readying resume some international routes in hopes for easing in lockdowns across the globe. Air Seoul, which now flies only between domestic cities, will run flights to eight cities outside Korea from July 1. Air Busan also will begin services to Qingdao, Hong Kong, Macau, Fukuoka and Tokyo from July 1.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]