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S. Korean Airlines boosting flights to many cities in Japan

South Korean airlines are expanding passenger flights to and from many Japanese provincial cities. (AFP)
South Korean airlines are expanding passenger flights to and from many Japanese provincial cities. (AFP)
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08 Oct 2023 05:10:07 GMT9
08 Oct 2023 05:10:07 GMT9

Seoul: South Korean airlines are expanding passenger flights to and from many Japanese provincial cities to take advantage of soaring demand for travel to Japan.

Korean Air will resume flights on routes connecting Incheon International Airport near Seoul with Niigata, Kagoshima and Okayama airports after a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to its winter schedule taking effect from Oct. 29.

The number of South Korean tourists visiting Japan is surging thanks to the yen’s recent weakness and improvement in relations between the two neighboring countries.

Korean Air will operate three round-trip flights a week on the three routes.

It will continue to operate flights between Incheon and New Chitose Airport near Sapporo, Hokkaido, which is popular with South Koreans, every day. Meanwhile, flights connecting Incheon with Narita, Fukuoka, Kansai and Nagoya airports will increase.

Asiana Airlines will expand its services between Incheon and Sendai airport in Miyagi Prefecture from Oct. 29. Air Seoul, a low-cost carrier, will resume flights between Incheon and Yonago airport in Tottori Prefecture from Oct. 25.

Local scenery, foods and hot springs are popular among South Korean tourists visiting provincial areas in Japan. In addition, travel to Japan is easy and not costly.

According to an estimate by the Japan National Tourism Organization, 569,100 South Koreans visited Japan in August, up about 20 times from a year before. The number was also 84.3 pct higher than in August 2019, before the novel coronavirus pandemic.

A woman in her 20s living in Seoul traveled to Otaru and Furano, both Hokkaido, this summer. She said that the food was delicious and that she wants to visit there again.

The advantage is that it does not take much time to travel since the two countries are closely located and that there is no time difference, she also said.

A Korean Air official said Japanese local governments and tourism companies have high expectations that increased flights to and from South Korea will help revitalize their regions.

Korean Air, for its part, wants many Japanese people to enjoy worldwide travel via Incheon, a hub airport connected to many big cities around the world, the official added.

JIJI Press

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