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(LEAD) T'way Air to start flights to Japan next month

All News 10:30 October 07, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details in paras 4-5, 11-12)

SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- T'way Air, a South Korean low-cost carrier, said Wednesday it will begin flights to Japan next month mainly to meet business travel demand.

T'way Air will resume services on the routes from Incheon to Osaka and Tokyo on Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, respectively, with a plan to eventually provide flights on routes to Nagoya and Fukuoka, the company said in a statement.

The budget carrier said it will initially offer one flight a week on the routes to Osaka and Tokyo as the new coronavirus outbreak continues to weigh on travel demand.

This file photo provided by T'way Air shows a B787-800 passenger jet flying in the sky. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The move comes as Japan agreed to allow businesspeople from South Korea to enter the country without a 14-day coronavirus quarantine starting Thursday.

The special entry procedure comes about seven months after Tokyo slapped entry restrictions on Seoul in early March to stem the spread of COVID-19, further straining the bilateral relations already frayed over wartime history and trade.

T'way Air suspended most of its international routes in March as more than 180 countries and territories strengthened entry restrictions to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

T'way began flights to the Chinese city of Wuhan on Sept. 16, marking the reopening of the air service to the epicenter of the virus outbreak after eight months.

With an approval from the Korean and Chinese aviation authorities, the carrier plans to operate the Wuhan route until Oct. 24 for the summer season. For the winter season from late October through end-March, it plans to seek approval from the authorities.

T'way was originally scheduled to begin services on the Wuhan route on Jan. 21, but the outbreak of the deadly respiratory illness temporarily suspended the plan.

T'way resumed flights to Yanji on Aug. 20 to meet business demand, while operating a sharply reduced number of flights on domestic routes since March.

Among other carriers, Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc., the country's two biggest and full-service carriers, currently offer flights from Incheon to Tokyo and Osaka.

Budget carriers Jeju Air Co. and Jin Air Co. also provide flights to Tokyo and Osaka.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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