South Korean operators Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and Jin Air are set to increase their operations into Mainland China, after Seoul eased entry restrictions for arrivals from China.

In a notice on 10 March, Jin Air says it will resume flights from Jeju to Shanghai and Xian this month, marking the resumption of its China network since the coronavirus struck three years ago.

Jin Air 737-800

Source: Wikimedia Commons

A Jin Air 737-800

Flights to Xian will resume on 16 March, with Jin Air operating a Boeing 737-800 once a week between the two cities. Shanghai flights - operated once a week as well - will resume on 26 March.

On the same day, sister unit and flag carrier Korean Air announced plans to beef up its flights to China, resuming seven routes and increasing frequencies in another seven.

By May, the airline expects to operate 99 weekly flights between the two countries, up from the current 13 weekly flights, or about 43% pre-pandemic levels.

The SkyTeam carrier will resume flights from Seoul Incheon to cities like Shenzhen and Xiamen, while operations to points like Beijing, Shanghai Pudong and Tianjin will see an increase in frequencies.

Asiana, meanwhile, is to significantly ramp up its operations to China at the start of the Northern Summer schedule, from the current 10 weekly flights to 89 flights.

The increase covers 17 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Harbin and Shenzhen. Previously-suspended flights, such as Seoul Incheon-Dalian and Seoul Gimpo-Shanghai Hongqiao, are also set to resume from end-March.

The Star Alliance operator says the ramp-up will bring its China capacity to around 50% pre-pandemic levels. This is a significant increase against the current 5% it is operating.

South Korea on 3 March dropped restrictions for travellers arriving from Mainland China, a move it imposed after a spike in Covid-19 infections in China after Beijing eased of its ‘zero-Covid’ measures.