Direct flights linking Taipei Songshan Airport and Gimpo Airport in Seoul have resumed after 34 years. Officials from both sides held ceremonies marking the resumption of the flights at the two airports on Monday.
Gimpo is located just 19 km away from downtown Seoul, while Songshan is located just 4 km away from the center of Taipei, but flights between the two ended after Korea and Taiwan built bigger airports outside of their respective capitals.
Taiwan built Taoyuan International Airport in 1979 located 40 km away from Taipei and Korea built Incheon International Airport in 2001 some 60 km away from the capital.
Since then, flights connecting the two countries arrived and departed from the two larger airports. But there were increasing calls to resume the Gimpo-Songshan flights due to their convenience for travelers and both countries agreed to do so last November.
"Since there is a strong possibility that more people will fly the route for business purposes than for tourism, I expect bilateral trade to grow," Taiwan President Ma Yingjeou said at the ceremony at Songshan.
Budget Korean carrier T'way Airlines will offer four weekly flights from Gimpo to Songshan, while Eastar Jet will offer three. Taiwan's China Airlines will offer four flights a week and EVA Air three. The Seoul-Tapei route is extremely lucrative with 1 million passengers using it each year, giving it an average annual load factor of 80 percent.
At present, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, China Airlines, EVA Air, Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific operate 54 flights connecting Incheon and Taoyuan.