Anchor: T'way Air, a South Korean low-cost carrier, will begin flights to the Chinese city of Wuhan on Wednesday. This marks the reopening of air service to the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak just eight months after it was shut down.
Park Jong-hong has the details.
Report: Low budget carrier T'way Air will finally start a once-a-week flight on the Incheon-Wuhan route from Wednesday, marking the reopening of air service from South Korea to the region after eight months.
While Chinese authorities approved the route late last year, the outbreak put a hold on its opening. South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport then approved the plan on Monday.
A ministry official said the industrial city of Wuhan is frequently visited by Korean and Chinese businesspeople and there has been much demand for the route to reopen.
T'way Air was originally scheduled to begin services to Wuhan on January 21, but all local airlines suspended outbound flights to the city on January 23, two days after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in South Korea.
With the addition of T'way's Wuhan route, a total of 10 routes to China will now be available.
Currently, flagship carrier Korean Air offers once-a-week flights from Incheon to Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shenyang, while Asiana Airlines has routes to Changchun and Nanjing.
In the fifth week of August, just 21 flights a week went to China, a drastic decline from one-thousand-164 a week during the winter of 2019.
Park Jong-hong KBS World Radio News.