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Air Busan opens Busan-Saipan route amid pandemic

Air Busan Co., a budget carrier unit of Asiana Airlines Inc., said Monday it has opened the Busan-Saipan route following a travel bubble agreement.

On Sunday, Air Busan began to offer one flight per week on the Saipan route to preemptively respond to pent-up travel demand amid rising vaccinations and eased virus curbs, the company said in a statement.

A travel bubble refers to a quarantine-free travel partnership between two or more cities or countries with similar levels of COVID-19 cases.

On top of five domestic routes, the company offers flights on two international routes from the southern port city of Busan to Qingdao and Saipan, sharply down from 25 international routes before the pandemic hit the airline industry.

It has 25 A321 chartered planes, but half of them are parked due to the prolonged pandemic. (Yonhap)