Korean Air Adds International Flights as Region Slowly Reopens

 - May 7, 2020, 3:15 PM
A Korean Air Boeing 777-200 takes off from Seoul Incheon International Airport. (Photo: Flickr: Creative Commons (BY-SA) by byeangel)

South Korea’s flagship carrier Korean Air announced plans on Thursday to reopen another 19 international flights on June 1 as countries across the globe cautiously look to ease Covid-19 border restrictions. The resumption of routes, which includes Washington, D.C., Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, Frankfurt, Singapore, Beijing, and Kuala Lumpur, will bump its current flight schedule from 55 flights a week on 13 international routes to 146 flights on 32 international routes, the carrier said in a statement.

The move comes a day after Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines both signaled their intent to increase international service starting next month. Meanwhile, Vietnamese authorities are also laying plans to restore a number of international flights, albeit with limited frequency and priority given to medical staff and officials on business. While Vietnam expects to completely restore its domestic routes by June, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) on Thursday cautioned that full recovery of its local and international sectors would not happen until 2021.

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, low-cost carrier AirAsia Indonesia plans to recommence regional service from Surabaya, East Java, to the Malaysian cities of Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru beginning May 18. Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia officially resumed domestic service on Thursday while the Lion Air Group, which includes Lion Air, Wings Air, and Batik Air, announced it will relaunch local flights on May 10. Philippines Airlines and Cebu Air are also boosting safety measures as they prepare for the resumption of domestic flights on May 15.