International flights may start resuming from Gimhae International Airport before the end of the year.
As the government is planning to welcome the “Living With Corona” era, which will bring a return to a sense of a normal lifestyle to the country, the local airline industry is preparing for additional international flights from regional airports around the country.
According to Jung Eun-kyeong, director of the Korean Center For Disease Control and Prevention, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport are considering a plan to partially open local airport routes.
Currently, the routes being discussed are flights from Busan to Saipan and Busan to Guam, both of which are expected to begin before the end of the year.
There is only one international flight currently operating from Gimhae, which is to Qingdao, China once a week.
Air Busan has already received permission for both routes from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport according to the airline.
The airport is already equipped with a quarantine system since December of last year and no cases have been registered thus far.
Gimhae Airport completely stopped international flights from April 5, 2020 in the aftermath of COVID-19.
It received its first international passengers on December 3 last year when 33 passengers flew in from Qingdao on Air Busan and its first departure also on the same route was October 15th.
Duty Free Shop at Gimhae International Up For Bids
In more news that the airport is gearing up for a return of passengers, the second-floor duty-free shop that is looking for a new tenant has three bidders.
The nation’s three largest duty-free operators — Lotte, Shilla, and Shinsegae — have all put in bids to operate the store for five years beginning next January.
Currently, it is run by Lotte.
The new operator is expected to be chosen after an initial proposal evaluation and a final patent examination by the Korean Customs Service.