The number of passengers using international air flights grew about 6 percent during the first quarter as people were bolstered to travel by the ongoing economic recovery, the transportation ministry said Tuesday.
Passengers using international flights in and out of South Korea’s airports came to 10.13 million during the January-March period, up 5.8 percent from the same quarter a year earlier, the ministry said.
Travelers for Southeast Asian countries jumped 14.6 percent to 3.36 million, while those for China, the United States and Europe all increased from a year earlier.
Travelers for Japan, however, declined 4.4 percent on-year to 2.65 million as people avoided the country after it was hit by the deadly earthquake and ensuing radiation fears.
The nation’s flag carriers ― Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc. ― carried 65.8 percent of the total international passengers, according to the ministry.
Meanwhile, air cargo shipped in and out of Korea’s airports amounted to 874,000 tons during the first quarter, up 0.4 percent from a year earlier, the ministry said.