South Korean airlines have become cleared to add flights to more destinations in China after Beijing resumed issuing new permits following a brief ban on foreign carriers’ expansion of operation in the country.
Korean budget carriers including Jeju Air, T’way Air, Eastar Jet separately received notifications from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, authorizing them to add flight routes in mainland China, according to industry sources on Tuesday.
The Chinese civil aviation authority on Aug. 13 posted that it won’t allow additions in regular or irregular flights by foreign airliners until Oct. 10 and shelved all applications from foreign names.
The earlier-than-expected lift is a relief to Korean airlines struggling to find alternatives to Japanese locations after Koreans virtually stopped travelling to Japan amid row over past and trade issues.
So far, six of the nine applications put on hold received a go-ahead from the Chinese civil aviation authority.
Jeju Air was approved to start flight service to three new destinations in China, which include Incheon-Harbin and Busan-Zhangjiajie routes. The air carrier gained permits to nine additional routes from the Chinese aviation authority in May and launched three new flight services last month.
T’way Air will start its new service between Daegu, Korea to Zhangjiajie this Friday, which will be the fifth destination in China on regular flight schedule.
Eastar Jet and Air Seoul also had one application each approved for launching new route. Eastar Jet plans to kick off the new Incheon- Zhengzhou route and Air Seoul the Incheon- Zhangjiajie next month.
By Noh Hyun and Cho Jeehyun
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