Flights between China and S. Korea expected to continue amid COVID-19 outbreak, but reduced

A flight parks at Jeju International Airport in South Korea in 2017. File Photo: VCG

The COVID-19 outbreak has reduced the number of flights between China and South Korea, resulting in higher operating costs for existing airlines and increased fares. Analysts said that higher fares are a natural market adjustment and although prices may increase in the future, flights between the two countries will continue.

The comment came after statistics on the leading online ticket booking platform on Tuesday suggested that ticket prices for flights between Seoul and Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Weihai, Shandong Province have been constantly rising.

The ticket price from Seoul to Qingdao, Shandong Province is 5,245 yuan and with only one flight, there were only two tickets left for that flight on Tuesday afternoon, according to a report by Beijing News. Within 24 hours, the ticket price changed 11 times and the price went up every time.

Wang Baixun, a senior industry analyst on aviation, told the Global Times on Tuesday that because of the outbreak, the number of flights has decreased, but if there's more demand than airlines expect, ticket prices will rise.

"Both China and South Korea are facing serious challenges from the outbreak, although the number of flights and frequencies may drop, there will always be flights between the two countries," he noted.

Flights between the two countries have shown a significant decline amid the outbreak.

According to a statement that travel data company AirSavvi sent to the Global Times on Tuesday, Beijing and Qingdao, the top two cities with the most flights to and from South Korea saw a sharp decrease in flight number from February 19 to 25.

Scheduled flights between Beijing and South Korea were 131, while actual flights were 45, and flights that were planned to and from Qingdao were 143 but the actual number was just 41, the Beijing News report said.