Domestic Flights Decline Amid Coronavirus Resurgence

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August 25, 2020 10:40

Amid the resurgence of coronavirus infections, domestic airlines saw passenger traffic decline more than 18 percent last weekend compared to a week earlier.

Airlines face another huge hit after a slight recovery in passenger numbers on their domestic routes, amid curtailed international flights.

According to the Korea Civil Aviation Association, some 195,410 passengers took flights last weekend, down 18.7 percent from the previous weekend. Among them, 180,235 were domestic passengers.

Incheon International Airport is deserted on Aug. 23. /Newsis

In a desperate bid to stay afloat, Korea’s two flagship carriers, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, have been converting empty passenger seats to haul cargo. But they still suffered a more than 40-percent decline in revenues during the second quarter of this year.

The situation is even more severe for low-cost carriers, which saw revenues decline by more than 80 percent over the same period.

They had been hoping to make up their losses during the third quarter when they forecast the epidemic would be eased. However, a budget-carrier employee said, “We expected a recovery as we saw the number of domestic passengers almost reach pre-coronavirus levels recently, but we faced a difficulty again after a brief respite.”

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