November 09, 2020 12:46
Flights to Japan are resuming gradually as the coronavirus lockdown here eases. T'way resumed flights between Incheon and Tokyo's Narita on Nov. 6, and Jeju Air will resume a weekly flight on the same route on Nov. 21.
Since Oct. 8, Korean businesspeople can visit Japan without self-isolating for a certain period if they go through quarantine procedures.
Korean Air, which has already resumed flights to and from Narita five times a week, has begun operating two flights to Osaka per week as well. Asiana Airlines is running seven flights to Narita and five to Osaka every week.
"Demand from ordinary passengers is still low, but we're keeping flights to Japan because there is consistent demand from businesspeople, transit passengers and cargo," a Korean Air spokesman said.
But the overall situation of the aviation industry is not improving. As of November, Korean Air had a mere 33 international flights in contrast to 110 it ran before the coronavirus outbreak.
"The occupancy rate of international flights is still hovering at about 20 percent of what used to be before the epidemic broke out," an industry insider said. "Airlines will inevitably suffer difficulty unless the epidemic abates."
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