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Air traffic up 11 pct last year but still below pre-pandemic level: data

Industry 13:07 January 23, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's air traffic rose nearly 11 percent last year on increased domestic flights but international travel continued to falter amid the pandemic, data showed Sunday.

Over 465,000 domestic and international flights flew over South Korea last year, up 10.8 percent from a year earlier, according to data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

Air traffic in the country had gradually increased in recent years from around 739,000 in 2016 to 842,000 in 2019 before dipping sharply to around 421,000 in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of international flights rose only slightly to 203,029 last year, up 1.8 percent from the previous year, amid concerns over new COVID-19 variants.

Domestic air traffic jumped 18.9 percent on-year to 262,440 flights as more people traveled within the country amid signs of a slowdown in the pandemic last year, according to the ministry.

Jeju International Airport was the busiest airport in South Korea last year with an average of 455 flights a day, followed by Gimpo International Airport and Incheon International Airport.

Planes of South Korea's top flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. and No. 2 carrier Asiana Airlines Inc. are parked at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Dec. 1, 2020. (Yonhap)


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