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Korean Air to bring back flights to half of pre-pandemic level by Sept.

Korean Air’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft (Korean Air)
Korean Air’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft (Korean Air)
The country’s largest air carrier, Korean Air, is gearing up to restore international flights that had plunged during the last three years due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We plan to restore international flights to 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels by September,” the company said Tuesday.

Currently, Korean Air’s international flights are only one-third of the pre-pandemic level, but it plans to gradually increase flights starting in July, when the summer holiday season begins.

The national flag carrier will augment and resume some international flights departing from Incheon to the US, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Japan starting next month.

Among the routes resuming operations for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic are flights from Incheon to Las Vegas, Milan, Vienna, Sapporo and Okinawa.

In line with the reopening of the route between Gimpo Airport and Haneda Airport on Wednesday, after two years and three months, Korean Air will have two flights a week.

Flights to China are currently heavily restricted due to Beijing’s rigorous quarantine measures, but the company will closely monitor the situation to gradually increase the availability of flights.

To respond to surging international travel demand, Korean Air will be operating its super large A380 aircrafts for flights to New York and Hong Kong starting next month and to Narita, Japan, in September.

The carrier will also refit three of the 10 Boeing 777 aircraft back into passenger planes, after they were used for carrying cargo during the pandemic.

Korean Air also said it will enhance flight services by holding refresher courses on safety with flight attendants who had been on extended leave due to suspended flight operations during the pandemic and also by diversifying its in-flight menu.

By Hong Yoo (