South Korea increases weekly international flights from May

On Wednesday, South Korea said it will allow increase the number of international flights per week allowed to enter into the country beginning from May.

The development marks a continued easing of anti-coronavirus measures with the Omicron wave on the decline.

From May 2022, the South Korean government will authorise a further 100 weekly flights for destinations including Europe, Singapore, Thailand and the United States; these destinations have quarantine exemptions and visa-free entry, said Jeon Hae-cheol, South Korea’s Minister of the Interior and Safety.

He went on to add, in July the number of weekly international flights allowed into the country will go up by 300.

“Demand for overseas visits is expected to increase, as countries that have passed the peak of the Omicron wave have eased quarantine policies,” said Jeon in a statement.

COVID-19 cases in South Korea have been declining for around three weeks.

South Korea is weighing options which include doing away with most pandemic-related curbs later this month, including the obligation to wear masks outdoors; it has already dropped national vaccine mandates and mandatory quarantine for vaccinated travellers arriving from overseas. 

On Tuesday, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 286,294 new cases, down from a record 621,328 in mid-March.

With the news reaching the market, shares of Korean Air rose by 1.7% against a 0.9% drop in the wider market.

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