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South Korea to increase international flights starting May, including to Singapore

SEOUL — South Korea said on Wednesday (April 6) it will add hundreds of international flights per week beginning in May, continuing to ease anti-coronavirus measures as its Omicron wave declines.

A woman wearing traditional hanbok dress walks past a blossoming cherry tree in Seoul on April 5, 2022.

A woman wearing traditional hanbok dress walks past a blossoming cherry tree in Seoul on April 5, 2022.

SEOUL — South Korea said on Wednesday (April 6) it will add hundreds of international flights per week beginning in May, continuing to ease anti-coronavirus measures as its Omicron wave declines.

From next month, the government will authorise a further 100 weekly flights for such destinations as the United States, Europe, Thailand and Singapore, where quarantine exemptions and visa-free entry are possible, minister of the interior and safety Mr Jeon Hae-cheol said.

Then 100 more weekly international flights will be added in June and a further 300 in July, the transport ministry said.

Only 420 international fights a week currently serve South Korea, down from 4,714 before the pandemic.

"Demand for overseas visits is expected to increase, as countries that have passed the peak of the Omicron wave have eased quarantine policies," Mr Jeon said in a statement.

South Korean cases have been declining for about three weeks.

The country is considering scrapping most pandemic-related curbs later this month, including an obligation to wear masks outdoors, after already dropping national vaccine mandates and mandatory quarantine for vaccinated travellers arriving from overseas.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 286,294 new cases for Tuesday, down from a record 621,328 in mid-March.

Shares in Korean Air rose as much as 1.7 per cent after the announcement, versus a 0.9 per cent drop in the wider market. REUTERS

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