China-South Korea air traffic recovering fast
Published: Mar 28, 2023 12:36 AM
A flight parks at Jeju International Airport in South Korea in August. Photo: CFP

A flight parks at Jeju International Airport in South Korea. File Photo: VCG

Bilateral air traffic between China and South Korea has been recovering fast, and the routes connecting Gimpo Airport in Seoul with Beijing and Shanghai in China resumed operation on Monday.

Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming hailed the restarting of the flights and said that China and South Korea are close neighbors.

The routes were suspended in 2020 due to the epidemic.

Before the epidemic, there were 1.23 million people flying via the routes annually and the passenger load factor reached more than 80 percent, according to the official WeChat account of Chinese Embassy in South Korea.

The restarting of flights on the Gimpo routes will mean more convenient personnel exchanges and more active economic and trade cooperation between China and South Korea, according to the embassy.

Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and four other Chinese airlines operate a total of 112 flights per week on the Gimpo-Beijing and Gimpo-Shanghai routes, according to the

Other routes connecting China and the rest of South Korea will also see fast resumption. On Sunday, the Shanghai-based Spring Airlines restarted services from Shanghai to Jeju.

In an earlier interview with the Global Times in February, South Korean airlines including Korean Air said they hope to increase the number of flights to China.

Before the epidemic, there were more than 1,200 round-trip flights between China and South Korea every week, and annual personnel exchanges exceeded 10 million for many years. After the outbreak of the epidemic, the routes between China and South Korea were greatly reduced, and there were only a few dozen flights every week, Xing said.

China is the largest outbound tourist destination for South Korean citizens, and South Korea is the third-largest outbound tourist destination for Chinese citizens.

The bilateral trade between China and South Korea hit a new record of $362.3 billion in 2022, data from China customs showed. South Korea also surpassed Japan to become China's fourth-largest trading partner.

Global Times