Aviation routes between Korea and China are set to expand. Seventeen routes will be newly opened, while the number of flights between the two countries will increase by 90 per week from the current level.
According to the Land, Transportation and Infrastructure Ministry on Friday, Korea and China have agreed to expand the number of routes and flights from 45 and 426, respectively per week at present to 62 routes and 516 flights, respectively at their aviation talks held on Wednesday and Thursday on Jeju Island.
The new routes to open amount to 17 in total, which will link Incheon with Shijiazhuang, Nanning, Yinchuan, Yancheng, Jiamusi, and Hupei; Busan with Shijiazhuang, Zhangjiajie, and Yanji; Gwangju with Tianjian; Cheongju with Yanji, Harbin and Dalian; Jeju with Guangzhou, Guiyang, Nanning, and Xi`an. The new routes will operate a total of 51 flights per week, or two to seven flights per route per week.
The two countries have also decided to increase the number of flights by 39 per week on existing 12 routes as well. Routes with higher boarding rates will see the number of flights increase, including those linking Incheon and Beijing (42 to 45 per week), Incheon and Guangzhou (14 to 21), Incheon and Yanji (10 to 14), Incheon and Chengdu (seven to eight), and Busan and Hangzhou (two to five).
The two sides have also agreed to increase the number of cargo flights from 36 to 44 per week in tune with escalating volume of bilateral trade. The number of air passengers between Korea and China soared by 77.8 percent for a five-year period from 7.08 million in 2009 to 12.58 million last year.