Int'l Flights Come to a Halt at Gimpo Airport

  • By Kim Hyo-in

    March 13, 2020 09:40

    No international flights took off or landed at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul on Thursday due to a sharp drop in passengers amid the coronavirus scare.

    Gimpo normally has flights to and from Osaka, Tokyo, Taipei, Beijing and Shanghai. But the Taipei route has been closed since February and the Japanese routes since Monday.

    That left the Shanghai route run by China Eastern Airlines and the Beijing route run by China Southern Airlines, but both were canceled Thursday.

    "We'll have the same situation on Friday," a Korea Airports Corporation official said. "The only operating schedules we now have are four flights per week to China until late this month."

    An airport staffer walks through Seoul's deserted Gimpo International Airport on Thursday. /Yonhap

    The two Chinese airlines have not submitted their summer schedules yet though they are supposed to begin in early April. They say they will wait and watch the spread of coronavirus.

    Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and Jeju Air have already suspended their international flights at Gimpo. "It's difficult to make predictions because individual airlines make their own operating schedules," the KAC official added.

    Gimpo had been an international airport from 1959 to 2001 but then handled only domestic flights for about two years when Incheon International Airport opened.

    It resumed international flight operations in 2003.

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