SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Korea Bizwire) — Jeju Air Co., South Korea’s leading budget carrier, said Sunday the number of its flights on international routes bounced back to 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels last month.
Jeju Air offered 3,057 flights on its international routes to carry 485,000 passengers in December, accounting for 70 percent of the 4,362 flights and 694,016 passengers in December 2019, the company said in a statement.
Airlines were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as many countries shut down their borders or adopted strict travel restrictions to stem the spread of the unprecedented virus in the past three years.
Late last year, travel demand began to recover due to eased travel restrictions in some countries.
South Korea removed a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing requirement for inbound travelers on the first day of their arrival on Oct. 1.
Japan lifted the ban on the number of inbound passengers and resumed visa-free travel for visitors from specific countries, including South Korea, on Oct. 11.
For the whole of 2022, however, Jeju Air’s flights and passengers on international routes still showed they have more room to recover compared with pre-pandemic levels.
The company provided 9,681 international flights and carried 1.46 million passengers last year, far lower than the 52,837 flights and 8.37 million passengers in 2019, the statement said.
Jeju Air said it will focus on putting its business back on track this year as more pent-up demand for travel is expected to be unleashed globally.