Airports Expect Record Traffic as Long Weekend Looms

Despite the outpouring of grief for the victims of the ferry Sewol that sank off the southwest coast on April 16, domestic airports are expected to be crowded with tourists heading overseas this weekend.

According to a forecast by the Incheon International Airport Corporation based on airline bookings, some 900,000 travelers will use the nation's gateway airport from Wednesday to May 6, setting a record for this seven-day period since the airport opened in 2001. This would also mark a jump of 35 percent from last year’s total of 666,000 during the same period.

Foreign tourists wait at Incheon International Airport on Monday. /Newsis Foreign tourists wait at Incheon International Airport on Monday. /Newsis

Korean Air and Asiana Airlines said that while most schools have canceled their field trips to Jeju in the wake of the ferry accident, most international flight reservations remain unchanged.

The number of outbound passengers over the period is expected to increase to 453,000 from 339,000 last year. The number of incoming tourists is also due to rise to 447,000 from 327,000, mostly due to an influx of Chinese and Japanese travelers.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 30, 2014 09:32 KST