SEOUL, Oct. 2 (Korea Bizwire) — Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea’s national flag carrier, said Wednesday it will open four new routes to China and the Philippines later this month amid declining demand to Japan.
Korean Air will begin services on routes to Clark, Philippines, and Nanjing, China, on Oct. 27 and to Zhangjiajie and Hangzhou, China, on Oct. 28, the company said in a statement.
In addition to the new services, the country’s biggest full-service carrier plans to offer more flights on Southeast Asia, China and Oceania routes to offset falling demand and capacity on Japanese routes.
Korean Air and other airlines have suspended or reduced flights on routes to less-popular Japanese cities since August amid a trade row between South Korea and Japan.
In a protest against Japan’s export curbs on some industrial materials to South Korea, South Koreans have shunned trips to the neighboring country.
Since July, Japan has adopted tough regulations on exports of key materials to South Korea, a move seen as retaliation against a Seoul court’s ruling that ordered Japanese firms to compensate victims of their wartime forced labor during Japan’s brutal 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
Last month, South Korea filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Japan’s unfair trade practices. Japan agreed to hold a bilateral consultation as the first step of the WTO dispute settlement.
In August, Japan also removed South Korea from its “whitelist” of trusted trading partners, which are granted preferential treatment in the trade of sensitive industrial materials.
Last month, South Korea also took Japan off its own list of trusted trade partners in an apparent tit-for-tat measure.
The company’s net losses deepened to 396.3 billion won (US$329 million) in the April-June quarter from 304.7 billion won a year earlier.