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S. Korea, China to run temporary air routes

Planes are parked at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)
Planes are parked at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)
Temporary flights will start to operate this week to allow South Korean residents in China who returned here during COVID-19 outbreak to travel back to China, the government said Monday.

Korean Air Lines and Xiamen Airlines will operate a total seven flights from Incheon, west of Seoul, to Qingdao, Zhengzhou and Xiamen, from Thursday until Oct. 15, it said.

The number of regular flight routes between South Korea and China has dropped from 84 as of late last year to 16 last month in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. The number of flights plunged from 1,164 a week to 21 during the period.

All passengers must submit the results of a coronavirus test conducted within 72 hours prior to boarding and follow anti-virus guidelines.

The flight schedules are subject to change depending on the two countries' coronavirus situations, the government said.

"Our government will continue to consult with the Chinese side to add more flight routes and mitigate inconveniences experienced by our citizens in purchasing air tickets," it said in a release. (Yonhap)

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