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S. Korea carriers' foreign passenger income rebounds in H1

All Headlines 10:28 August 07, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean airlines' foreigner passenger income rose in the first half of 2018 after falling for six years in a row, helped by recovering travel demand from China, the central bank said Tuesday.

The country's eight carriers earned US$1.98 billion by transporting foreign passengers, marking a rebound from negative growth tallied since 2012, the Bank of Korea (BOK) said.

"Chinese travelers are coming back to Korea this year after Beijing lifted a ban on the sale of tour packages that were imposed after a diplomatic row erupted between the two countries," a BOK official said.

China had explicitly opposed the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system, called THAAD, in South Korea, although Seoul stressed the move was aimed at countering the threat from North Korea. Beijing has maintained that the system jeopardizes its security.

The foreign passenger income has been on a decline from $2.55 billion in 2012 to $2.42 in the following year, $2.37 billion in 2014, $1.94 in 2015 and $1.81 in 2016, the data said. It dipped to $1.68 billion last year.

The country's two full-service carriers are Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc., and the six low-cost carriers are Jeju Air Co., Jin Air Co., Air Busan Co., Air Seoul Inc., Eastar Jet and T'way Air Co.

In this photo taken Aug. 5, 2018, a large number of travelers move through an area with duty-free shops on both sides at Incheon International Airport. (Yonhap)

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