SEOUL, March 21 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean low-cost carrier Eastar Jet Co. will shut down all of its flights, company officials said Saturday, amid a travel slump triggered by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Eastar Jet will halt operation of its domestic flights from Tuesday to April 25, according to the officials. The budget carrier already suspended all of its international flights earlier this month.
Eastar Jet will be the first South Korean airline to close all of its air services due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
“Travel demand has dropped sharply due to the novel coronavirus,” an Eastar Jet official said.
“In the current situation, we lose money when we operate flights. To minimize the damage, we thought it was better to shut down our flights for a month.”
For those who already booked Eastar Jet flights, the company will help them to use flights of Jeju Air Co., the country’s largest low-cost carrier. Jeju Air earlier this month signed a deal to acquire Easter Jet for 54.5 billion won (US$43.7 million).
Local air carriers have been suffering badly from the novel coronavirus outbreak. Of the South Korean airlines, three -– Air Seoul, Air Busan and T’Way Air — currently are operating only domestic flights after shutting down their international services.