Passengers pass by a duty-free shop at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Aug. 20, 2021. (Yonhap)
The number of daily passengers at Incheon International Airport, South Korea's main gateway, rose to the highest point this year in early August as more people traveled during the summer holiday season amid the vaccination drive, data showed Saturday.
An average of 10,987 passengers used the Incheon airport a day from Aug. 1-19, up 47 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to the data by the Incheon International Airport Corp.
On Aug. 13, two days ahead of Liberation Day, 15,551 passengers used the airport, the most in 2021, the company said.
If the current trend continues, industry watchers say the number of average daily passengers using the airport is expected to surpass 10,000 in August for the first time in 16 months.
The daily passenger traffic at the airport was nearly 200,000 in 2019, but it nose-dived last year due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The daily figure remained between 4,000 and 8,000 from April 2020 to June 2021 due to the prolonged pandemic before recovering to 9,335 last month, as the government exempted vaccinated people traveling for business and other essential purposes from a two-week self-quarantine period. (Yonhap)