Flight Bookings Jump on Vaccination Hopes

  • By Song Hye-jin

    June 09, 2021 09:51

    Flight bookings have jumped five times as coronavirus vaccination gradually gets underway.

    According to online marketplace Wemakeprice, airline ticket sales from May 27 to June 2 surged 5.4 times compared to the previous week. Travelers can often set flexible departure dates for bargain tickets depending on the lifting of lockdown.

    Online mall 11st is selling tickets to overseas destinations with the slogan, "Let's Travel After Getting Vaccinated" and reservations doubled in the first week of this month.

    Hana Tour, Korea's No. 1 travel agency, is selling tickets to people who have already been vaccinated to Dubai, Hawaii, the Maldives and Switzerland, which do not require quarantine for vaccinated travelers. And Hanjin Tour is selling honeymoon tickets to Bali and Hawaii.

    Travelers browse a duty-free shop at Incheon International Airport on June 4. /Newsis

    Already duty-free sales are recovering thanks to in-country shoppers taking advantage of eased allowances. Sales at duty-free shops surged 51.6 percent on-year in April to W1.56 trillion (US$1=W1,115). "Sales have recovered to 70 percent of levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic," a duty-free staffer said. "I think the worst is over."

    Carriers are getting ready to resume overseas flights. Jeju Air on Tuesday resumed regular flights to Saipan that had been halted in March last year, while Asiana Airlines has applied for government approval to resume flights to the U.S. commonwealth next month. Korean Air started selling tickets to Guam last month.

    Meanwhile, Korea is in talks about a "travel bubble" with seven countries including Australia and Singapore that would allow quarantine-free travel between them for vaccinated people.

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