Author: Tronserve admin
Tuesday 3rd August 2021 12:41 AM
Korean Air to Resume Suspended International Routes in June
South Korea’s largest carrier Korean Air Lines Co. will resume some of its international routes to North America and Southeast Asia that have been suspended in preparation for a recovery in global air travel demand that has come to a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According the company’s website on Thursday, Korean Air announced changes to its flight schedule for next month, saying it will operate 32 of 110 international routes starting June. In May, the airline operated only 13 international routes.
Korean Air will reopen routes to Washington D.C. and Seattle in the United States and Vancouver and Toronto in Canada about 50 days after it suspended flight services due to the coronavirus outbreaks across the world that have led a majority of countries to close their borders to travelers. It will also expand the number of flights to San Francisco from current three times a week to five times a week, to Atlanta from four to five times a week, and Chicago from three to five times a week.
Korean Air also plans to resume suspended flights to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Frankfurt in Germany. It will also expand weekly flights to Paris, France, and London, the United Kingdom next month. The airline will also resume flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Yangon in Myanmar, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. It also included cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Qingdao in China, and Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia – in the list of flight operations in June in case entry restriction is lifted.
Korean Air had planned to resume flights to Beijing this month but was cancelled as China continued its entry restriction on Korea.
An unnamed official from Korean Air said that the resumption of international routes in June comes as part of a preemptive move to prepare for a recovery in the number of passengers after easing of coronavirus scare across the world. Until travel demand revives, the airline is expected to use extra international flights for cargo services to meet growing cargo demand during worldwide COVID-19 lockdowns, industry observers said.
Korean Air saw cargo volume jumped 8 percent in the first quarter ended March from a year ago partly thanks to the growing popularity of Korean medical supplies including corona19 test kits abroad. Thanks to a recent surge in international air freight rates, Korea’s largest airline is said to have been able to manage to reduce operating loss in the first quarter with brisk cargo business.
Its stocks ended up 2.13 percent, or 400 won, at 19,150 won ($15.65) on Thursday.
But some industry observers warned that it may be too early to expect a rebound in global air traffic because the COVID-19 pandemic is still ravaging most of the world except only few countries such as China, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan that have seen a slowdown in virus cases.
By Song Gwang-sup, Choi Geun-do and Lee Eun-joo