SEOUL, June 9 (Korea Bizwire) — Korean Air Lines Co., South Korea’s national flag carrier, said Thursday it will resume three long-haul routes next month as eased travel restrictions unleashed pent-up travel demand.
Korean Air will offer three flights a week on each of the routes from Incheon to two European cities, Milan and Vienna, starting July 1, and three flights a week on the Incheon-Las Vegas route from July 10, the company said in a statement.
The resumption of the long-distance routes comes more than two years since March 2020 when airlines suspended most of their flights on international routes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Korean Air plans to resume more international routes depending on travel demand.
It currently operates seven domestic and 41 international routes, sharply down from 13 and 120 before the pandemic hit the airline industry.
The carrier swung to a net profit of 543.85 billion won (US$429 million) in the January-March quarter from a net loss of 28.76 billion won a year earlier, helped by increased cargo deals.
It expects its second-quarter earnings will improve further as South Korea on Wednesday lifted the mandatory seven-day self-isolation period for all international arrivals, regardless of their nationalities or vaccination status.
Still, international arrivals are required to take a PCR virus test within three days of their entry into South Korea.
They also must have a negative COVID-19 result — by taking either a PCR test or a supervised rapid antigen test — before boarding flights to South Korea, and submit the negative COVID-19 result to the South Korean authorities upon their arrival.