SEOUL, July 13 (Korea Bizwire) — The volume of international passengers traveling via Gimpo International Airport in western Seoul rebounded in the first half to about 60 percent of the pre-COVID-19 levels, the airport operator said Thursday.
In the January-June period, a total of 5,240,626 travelers flew overseas via South Korea’s 14 regional airports, excluding Incheon International Airport, Korea Airport Corp. said.
The volume represents 49.6 percent of the corresponding figure posted in the first half of 2019.
Of the 14 regional airports, Gimpo International Airport in western Seoul had the highest recovery rate, with its international passenger volume reaching 59.6 percent in the first half compared with the same period in 2019.
The airport operator attributed the rebounds to the brisk performance of routes to Southeast Asian nations and Japan.
The number of passengers using the regional airports’ international routes to Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, rose to 71.6 percent of the pre-pandemic level while the corresponding number using routes to Japan recovered to 60.2 percent.
The passenger volume for the routes to China, meanwhile, stood at 15.4 percent.
Amid receding coronavirus cases, Gimpo International Airport began to put its international routes back in service last year, starting with routes to Tokyo, Osaka and Taipei.
During the six-month period, a total of more than 33 million passengers traveled via the 14 regional airports’ domestic routes, representing 102.7 percent of the corresponding 2019 level, the airport operator also said.