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(LEAD) Korean Air, Asiana resume Gimpo-Haneda route after 2-year suspension

Economy 10:10 June 29, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info in last 3 paras)

SEOUL, June 29 (Yonhap) -- Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc., South Korea's two biggest carriers, on Wednesday resumed the Gimpo-Haneda route after a two-year suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Korea and Japan agreed to reopen the route last week.

Korean Air and Asiana will operate two flights per week on the Haneda route, respectively, while All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Co. will provide a total of four flights a week as well, according to the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry.

The four airlines operated a total 21 flights a week on the Haneda route in 2019 before the pandemic hit the airline industry.

The number of flights will increase in phases starting next month, depending on travel demand and preparations by airliners, the ministry said.

On top of the flights between Gimpo International Airport and Haneda International Airport, flights are available from Incheon International Airport to the Narita and Osaka airports.

People welcomed the resumption as both airports are much closer to city centers.

"I have previously used the Incheon-Narita route but changed my ticket to this Gimpo-Haneda route as it is more convenient. I plan to use this route from now on," Cha Ki-cheol, a 42-year-old passenger, told Yonhap News Agency before boarding a Korean Air Lines flight.

A total of 2.05 million people used the Gimpo-Haneda route, with an average of 21 flights per week in 2019, according to data from an airport operator.

This file photo, taken April 15, 2022, shows aircraft at Gimpo International Airport in western Seoul. (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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