Few South Korean airlines are reducing services to Japan amid trade dispute

Wednesday, July 31, 2019


Several South Korean airlines are reducing services to Japan amid declining demand caused by an ongoing trade dispute between the two countries. In a short statement on its website, Korean Air mentioned that it is suspending flights from Busan to Sapporo, Japan from September 3.




The flights affected are KE 771, a thrice weekly flight which leaves Busan at 9.30am on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving in Sapporo at 11:50am the same day.




The return flight, KE 772, leaves Sapporo at 12:50pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and arrives back in Busan at 3:30pm the same day. The flights are operated by an Airbus A220-300.




As per reports, Korean Air is suspending the flights because of falling demand as a result of a diplomatic row between Korea and Japan. The airline is also considering cutting the number of flights between the two countries or shifting to smaller aircraft from mid-August.




Korean Air does not yet know what exact smaller aircraft types might be deployed come mid-August, nor has the airline decided where to deploy the A220-300s currently flying the Busan-Sapporo route.




In June, Japan tightened controls of exports of high-tech materials to South Korea, in apparent retaliation for a South Korean court ruling over wartime forced labor. Such disputes have prompted a widespread boycott of Japanese products and services, from beer to clothes and travel in South Korea. On the travel front, South Korean airlines are are reducing flights to Japan.




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